College and culinary school

Joined Mar 1, 2016
Hi all. I'm a sixteen year old high school student, and currently planning out what I'll do upon graduation. I've always loved to bake, and I'm planning on going to culinary school. However, there are so many options, and I'm having a hard time figuring out which path to take. Here are my thoughts/facts:

- The idea of not getting a formal Bachelors Degree is not only frowned upon where I live, but it scares my parents half to death that I won't have anything to fall back on. However, if I'm certain that I want to stay in the culinary field, is it really necessary? I don't want to drown in student loans.

- I live near New York, and I would much rather stay and go to a school in New York, which is almost enough to rule out Johnson and Wales and CIA, in my opinion. I'm still touring them, however.

- An established friend of the family says that nowadays, a degree is fairly useless, and that going to a short program in New York is absolutely the best option, and that my family are fools for forcing me to get a degree that will be useless and expensive. 

- ICC (in New York) has a program where you can get a degree with The New School, however my sister says (and I tend to agree) that she isn't letting me go to a school that isn't good just for the sake of a degree. 

- Cornell has a wonderful Hospitality school. Would it be worth it to get an AS there, and then go to a one year program in NYC?

- Both schools in NYC that I'm looking at have specialized culinary business schools. I think this would be a good option for any business education I might need, but would it be more worth it to get a degree rather than complete this program?

- I am also interested in traveling, and will most likely take a gap year. Where would this logically fit in? I was thinking after any business courses I take (since I won't be trying to get an internship, etc.)

- I don't want to go to a school that isn't a reputable college or culinary school, which rules out some options. 

There are so many options, and every day my opinion and my parents is changed and influenced. I think only the culinary school is necessary, as well as doing a culinary business option. Can anyone give me an opinion, possibly if you've gone through the path of choosing a school? Thank you for anyone's help in advance!
Joined Jun 27, 2012
There are so many ways to fulfill the requirements for a degree.

Employers like to see one on a CV just because it means you were able to start and complete a difficult task without a parent standing over your shoulder plus you will be smart enuf to carry on a conversation without uttering stupid and embarrassing half truths.

You have a year before you get that HS diploma, right?

I may sound like a broken record here but will parrot the usual advice of getting a kitchen job now before you have decided where to get your degree and place that non refundable deposit.

Who know you may find that cooking for a living is nothing like doing it for fun and decide to be a lawyer (yeah maybe a lawyer...there are never enuf of those around lol ;-)

When you have to pay for everything yourself....sit down and work out a realistic will be surprised (and maybe a bit frightened) when the cost of being a grownup is staring up at you from a sheet of notebook paper.

Then do a bit of investigating and see if you can support yourself in the manner to which you are accustomed on a cooks paycheck.

If you still want to cook and feel you need formal instruction before looking for a BOH position try a CC.

Most have culinary programs rivaling any of the big ticket schools.

Then after you get that certificate and have settled into a job...start taking classes one at a time and pay cash as you go.

Depending on how many hours per semester you can afford, this "real" degree your parents want so badly can be accomplished in 3-5 years.


That is the "little talk" I have with the offspring of my family when they come asking for advice re how to get their parents to "allow" them to enter this business so full of alcoholics and druggies lol.

Good luck to you on whatever path you should decide to take!


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