Im 26 years old and Im want to go to culinary school. I have no experience and thinking of volunteering @ a soup kitchen to get some, plus I want to get more involved in giving back to the community. I was looking into the The Culinary Institute of America A.S. Degree 21 months and The French Culinary Institute Diploma 6 months. I want to be a head chef one day and learn as much as possible from great chefs. I heard that you learn more through work then you do @ school. So I want to know is it necessary to get my A.S. or can I just get a diploma and move up the ranks with that? I want to become a sous chef in at least 4 to 5 years and a head chef in 5-7, does that sound about right? I would love to hear from people with industry experience.