Johnson and Wales or CIA?

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by novani, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. novani

    novani

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    HI all,

    I thought I already made up my mind to go to CIA but then one of the CIA alumni told me that it's better of for me to got o JWU since they have a better program- much in depth than CIA.
    I'm open with any suggestions and opinion.

    Thank you
     
  2. even stephen

    even stephen

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    Novani,
    Most people in this industry would agree that J&W is the working chefs school.
    I am a J&W grad. Either school would give you the basic backround for the trade.
    Most people get in a peeing contest about which is better, but, it is what it is.
    You can take away from it what you put into it. The most valuable thing you
    can take away is a strong network of friends around the world that are in the same
    business. CIA has traditionally opened more doors in the past, but, J&W has
    become a force to be reckoned with. I honestly would not choose schools, but,
    geographic location. Good luck.

    Stephen
     
  3. campchef

    campchef

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    Novani,
    I teach culinary arts at the high school level. I have had students go to JW and to CIA, and it all comes down to; you get out what you put in. CIA has the reputation, but if you are not planning on working in a big city, in a very large corporate setting, or teaching, the CIA rep will do little for you and may actually hinder your chances at a job. Imagine a hard working very talented executive chef who learned most of it on the job over 25 years thinking about hiring a CIA grad who "knows it all" after a few years in class. I'm not sure the CIA on your jacket would do you much good. But, the students of mine who have gone to CIA have received an excellent culinary education! JW has the reputation as the "other" school, but they are just as good in my view. I agree that the location is probably your best way of choosing, along with cost CIA is more $$. Good Luck!
     
  4. novani

    novani

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    Thank's for both inputs.
    I'm still confused a little about the location. You both mentioned about the location, what would be the best location?
    I mean Rhode Island (JWU) compare with Hyde park, N.Y?
    What would be the best location if I would like to get more experience in different variety kitchens? (Hotel, catering, restaurant, etc)?

    Thank's a bunch!
     
  5. gabby29

    gabby29

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    novani,

    i'm a little confused. you made up your mind to attend a wonderful school with a world class reputation. i'm assuming you looked into others schools before making this decision.

    one individual gives you their opinion and now everything is up in the air? how is it possible that your plans are subject to change simply because this individual said something different? would you go back to the drawing board if someone else contradicted what was said and advocated for cia instead? do you see where i'm going?

    you have to decide what is best for you. everyone will have their preferences but there are so many factors involved. with all due respect i'm not buying any of this. it's like the argument between going to harvard and yale. both are wonderful institutions. it's merely a matter of what the individual prefers and where they wish to be.

    consider this. while cia might have a reputation for turning out know it all students by some, if you work hard and apply yourself you might gain the respect and approval of your superiors and peers. undoubtedly most will suspect that you've been well trained. if the attitude is non-existent and your dedication and skills are at the forefront, these things will take precedence.

    before i hammer down a definite decision i'd give some thought as to what i wish to do in this industry and sincerely ask yourself why cia was your first choice. was it because of the name and the doors it could open for you, or simply because you felt the program, resources, and networking opportunities would be beneficial to your career. whatever is true i wish you the best. you can't go wrong with either.

    gabby
     
    rasengun likes this.
  6. novani

    novani

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    Thank's Gabby,

    You remind me with what I thought last time.
    I spent a week at CIA and I visited JWU, inspite of whatever in the program is, I do like CIA better. I guess I'm a little bit worry to commit in such a big loan with a 'wrong' decision.
    CIA scheduled me to start in April 06.
    Anyway, Thank's again.

    Novi
     
  7. toddlove8845

    toddlove8845

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    The CIA has a lot more connections in Manhattan. If your looking to intern at a restaurant you would hve a lot more opportunities. For example Drew Nieporent of Myriad Restaurant Groupis on the board at the CIA.
     
  8. gabby29

    gabby29

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    novani,

    your fears are understandable. but keep in mind you'd be assuming as much or more debt if you attended a four-year university, simply because the interest capitalizes over time. especially if you opt for additional loan funds outside of the stafford loan.

    i'm sensing that this is more related as to whether this is definitely the career for you, particularly since you're assuming such a great deal of debt. to be honest you cannot know until you jump into the fire. it is best to go into this giving yourself a variety of options if you decide that you don't wish to be a chef but would prefer to go another route. that's making your degree and training work for you.

    regardless which path you decide upon, you'll be left with a marketable skill to fall back on if needed. i live in a large city and restaurants, businesses, and the like are always seeking quality help. don't pigeon hole yourself either way. roads left unpaved are typically the ones we enjoy the most, despite the steep and arduous climb.

    best of luck to you!

    gabby
     
  9. campchef

    campchef

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    By location, I was talking more about where do you want to end up. CIA si either Hyde Park or Napa Valley, while JW is in Providence, Charlotte, Denver, and probably more I don't know about. So where do you want to live while in school, and where do you want to work when out of school? Sure a CIA grad can work anywhere, but mainly on the eastern seaboard. JW grads usually fnd work close to where they graduated unless they go to another major city. This should most definitley not be a major part of the decision process, but rather something to consider.
     
  10. jwuco

    jwuco

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    I went to Johnson & Wales in Denver. When I was researching culinary schools I narrowed it down to CIA and JWU. The main reason why I chose JWU is because the Denver campus has a one year program for those who have a BA or BS in any other field from any school. (I have a BA in Political Science from University of California.) Both schools have great programs. The only thing I didn't like about JWU is the absence of a restaurant. We learned how to serve each other as opposed to serving the public. I have a friend who went to CIA for his culinary degree and came to Denver for his bachelors in food service management. My experience at Johnson & Wales was great. I learned a great deal and left with many skills.
     
  11. annabean211

    annabean211

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    i am in the same boat as you.... i want to go to the CIA but i feel JWU is the better option because of the varity of things to do on the providence campus... i want to be going to a school where i can let my creative side show and where i feel more comfortable.
     
  12. brandon77

    brandon77

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    What is important to any decision making for schools are the accreditation:

    Accreditation


    The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)—which includes campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; and San Antonio, TX; and an additional location in Singapore—is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267-284-5000. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Official recognition of the CIA’s accreditation status may be found under “Institutions” on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education's website.

    Accreditation

    Johnson & Wales University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

    NEASC is the nation’s oldest regional accrediting association and one of six accrediting bodies in the U.S.

    While initially devoting exclusive attention to New England schools and colleges, the association now accredits educational institutions internationally.

    For more information on JWU accreditation, see Accreditation and Approvals.

    https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/agencies.aspx  - You will see that Middle States Commission on Higher Education is a regionally accredited agency as well as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

    These two schools are regionally accredited which is a good sign.  The reputation of the school's is dependent on the hiring managers experience with students of that particular school.  Honestly, when you go for a job interview you will be asked questions and also be asked to conduct a "working interview" which will show off your skills in the Kitchen.  Like any school, I can sit by a person not as well versed as I and we both graduate with the same degree.  However, your personal skills will set you apart from any competition.  

    The decision will now be left on cost, and curriculum. 

    I never listen to peoples opinion on a particular institution.  I mainly stick three facts important to making a decision.

    - Is the school regionally accredidated?  Yes to both schools (incase I want to obtain a master's or Phd).

    - Is the curriculum something I would enjoy?

    - Is the cost affordable for me at my current situation?

    Other people's opinion means nothing, they are not hiring you. 
     
  13. Chrisopotamus

    Chrisopotamus

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    As a restaurant owner, I've had people from both schools. It is 100% about what you put into it. Ask questions. Be attentive. Research things *as* you're learning. Both my businesses are primarily baking and pastries. The foundation you're learning in school is *so* very important, because in the end, it isn't as simple as following a recipe. (Example: A typical class will cover "ok, today we're covering how to make a muffin." But if you don't understand baker's ratios and what the different types of flour are, you'll never be able to adequately develop your talents because you'll always have a badly cooked product.

    Also... you may want to check out a book called the "Flavor Bible". It's awesome for finding different flavor profiles you might not have thought of.

    Edit: Being a chef is an extremely tough and competitive job and honestly doesn't pay as much as it should be worth. I pay top dollar for my bakers because I wanted to find and retain the best talent. You're not likely to get wealthy doing this, so I would definitely take the cost of the entire program (including your living expenses) into account.
     

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