Does the degree matter as much as the name of the culinary school?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by jfresch, May 3, 2012.

  1. jfresch

    jfresch

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    Does the actual degree that you acquire from a  culinary school matter as much as the name of the school you attended. For example, I am considering attending The French Culinary Institute but you only graduate with a certificate and not an associates degree. Does this matter?
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    IMHO, one attends school, any school, to obtain an education. The "degree" or the "name of the school" are far less important than what you learn.

    Now, for certain professions, i.e. law, medicine, accounting, etc., and for many trades, i.e. electricians, plumbers, etc., there are legal licenses that require passing a an exam or multiple exams. In the USA, there are no licensing requirements for dishwashers, cooks, or kitchen managers/chefs, your "creds" are performance on the job.

    A certificate/diploma/degree from a name MAY get you in the door a little quicker but your knowledge/experience will keep you from going right back out the door.

    BTA, WTHDIK
     
  3. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Cooking certificates from the big name schools are the least effective use of $$ (IMO). If you just want a cooking certificate go to a CC affiliated with the ACF or better yet stick to it and pick up your Associates no matter where you go to school.

    But that's not what you asked.

    Of course your degree matters. With many corporations you won't even make the cut to the professional staff with out at least a two year degree. If you have a BA you should make far more $$ over your career if you do your part. This only makes sense when you think about it as your income potential is directly related to your training and education.

    Dave
     
  4. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Supporting DuckFat's comments, an AA, BA/BS, or even an MA/MS will probably improve your lifetime income, the discipline is less important, the fact you have the sheepskin is the key.

    IMHO, any "cooking school" is a trade school, regardless as to the name on the paper. Now, if the school provides for a degree in hospitality/management, it is a different story, an AA/BA/BS in hospitality, restaurant management, etc., can be valuable.
     
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

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    I find "degrees" for cooking very, very suspect.  Cooking is a trade, a manual trade, and a stepping stone to other hospitality related careers. 

    Now, a degree in hosp. mngmt, Yes, that's something many employers will  take notice of, or degrees in other areas (accounting, business mngmt, etc), but a degree just on cooking???????

    One thing about school, and many employers know this:  School is like a piggy bank--- what you get out of it is what you put into it.
     
  6. jfresch

    jfresch

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    So I am a little confused. Why is FCI so highly regarded if you graduate with a certificate of completion? I have to believe that FCI is somewhat worth the name given the fact that the schooling is only 6 months and it doesn't sound like its students have trouble finding their way into kitchens. I could be wrong though.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  7. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Finding a way into a kitchen is not the critical problem, staying in the kitchen is!
     
    rbandu likes this.
  8. jamzer1

    jamzer1

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    I have seen this happening more and more where an employer is advertising that they want someone who has trained in The French Culinary Institute. The only experience I had in this personally was when I graduated from one of the four colleges in the Republic of Ireland. When I went for a job and it was down to the last few if I named the college I had trained in I would generally get the job as it was known to be a tough school to train in. But in recent years when I had fallen by the way side in culinary experience i went for a job in a 1star kitchen. Here I worked with younger guys who had trained in France etc. But after a week or two it became clear that they were not up to the job.

    So do people look at the college, YES, but you are not put under the same pressure in college as you are in the work place. Maybe the employers will cop on to this after they have a few chefs in who cannot perform on a busy Saturday night.
     
     
  9. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Highly regard by who? I've never seen or heard of FCI being highly regarded before. I certainly wouldn't place them above any other trade school with a certificate.

    I've never ever seen an employer place an ad stating they want some one trained at a specific school. It's not un-common for employers to run ads stating they require a degree or ACF certification at a certain level but a cooking certificate from the FCI won't help with that.

    Dave