Is a certificate worth the $$$

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by chefclaycollins, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. chefclaycollins

    chefclaycollins

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    I was just wondering what others opinion of going to a school and getting a certificate VS going to school and getting a diploma. Is it even worth getting a certificate? Does going to a certificate school really help you in your career? Or is CIA or J&W the only way to go? I'd like to hear everyone's opinion.

    Thanks
    Clay
     
  2. holydiver

    holydiver

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    Most schools offer an AOS degree now not just a certificate in my mind JW and CIA are highly overpriced for what the industry pays personally you can do just as well at a good community college program. Figure it this way what matters is talent you either have it or you don't and no matter what school you go to can teach it period so do not fall for the hype. Look at the James Beard awards and Food& Wine best new Chefs awards every year probally 60-70 percent of the Chefs that win or are nominated never went to school any school yes I know the naysayers will say the industry is going towards this degree and that degree but either you have the talent the drive annd the work ethic or you don't and spending 50k on a school will do you no good.
     
  3. holydiver

    holydiver

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    Another is it all depends where you want to go in the biz? fine dining a certificate will do you fine because they are looking for skills and talent. If weare talking about hospitals and country clubs and hotels then an AOS is advisable because they look for a degree if you want to be in any management capacity. Personal Cheffing or catering or banquet operations certificate.
     
  4. katew

    katew

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    It seems kind of unfair that going to school for 2 or 4 years and going for 6 months (or not at all) are equal. Doesn't effort count? Sure I can take six months or less out of my life pretty easily but I chose to go to J&W because I think it shows more dedication to go to a "real" school and get some academic education along with the cooking. You can be a great cook and have the natural talent but do you come across as intelligent and professional as well? Can you spell and read? Can you pronounce the foreign words on your menu? Am I being too picky? :confused: Maybe I should be a food magazine editor, or something.
     
  5. chefclaycollins

    chefclaycollins

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    My way of thinking is that it isn't FAIR the way things work for me know so I need to do something about it. I am 27 know and have been cooking since I was 16. The thing that makes me mad is that people that have never REALLY cooked before (but have $$$) can get jobs just on the fact that they spent 2 years or a year or whatever in school. There has been many times when some snob that went to whatever shool has gotten a job where I work based solely on the fact that they went to school, and when it came right down to it they couldn't hang. To me degrees and schools are BS, but unfortunatley most people (i.e. restaurant owners) don't understand that, and I feel the need to follow the other sheep and go to school because of that.

    In my opinion, too many people are out there doing things they shouldn't because they paid someone. I personally think that every chef should wash dishes and do vegetable prep for a while so they have an understanding of how it is, not how someone told you it is. I think it makes you a better leader to know how to do ALL jobs of employees you have underneath you.

    I think that standing on the line and proving you are equal makes you an equal!
     
  6. katew

    katew

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    I agree with your point that a chef should work his way up, and occasionally, work his way down ;) . That's what I expect to do, even though I'm going to school. I won't turn my nose up at washing dishes or prep work.
    I think you should do what you want. Don't feel obligated to go to school just because you've seen it be an advantage. Like you said, people who went to school sometimes still can't cut it.
     
  7. holydiver

    holydiver

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    Not to be snotty but there are a couple of "real school" students that have posted on here that have the spelling aptitude of a 1st grader. The education system in this country is the biggest sham ever put upon our society I know a lot of college grads that do not know where New Hampshire is. It seems like the attitude here is that if you do not go to a "real school" you are a moron that can't spell or speak another language very intresting. I speak 3 with just a high school degree how about you?. Intelligence has nothing to do with a piece of paper maybe when you get older you will learn that truth.
     
  8. katew

    katew

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    "Intelligence has nothing to do with a piece of paper maybe when you get older you will learn that truth."


    So, you discredit one generalization by using another? Age has nothing to do with intelligence either. I will be the first to say I am naive about some things but that doesn't mean I'm opening invitations to insult my age or my intelligence or anything else about me. I don't enjoy being talked down to and I will make sure you know that.
    I agree you can't get spelling or grammar through some skulls no matter how many years you try. I just think there's a better chance of succeeding if you do try.
    Maybe I'm wrong about going to a school that includes academics. Maybe it's no better than getting a certificate after 6 months. But it's just my opinion that you should get every bit of education that you can.
     
  9. greg

    greg

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    holydiver, I'd look to your own spelling and puncuation first, if you're going to bring that point to the fore! :D
     
  10. katew

    katew

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    "puncuation"

    No comment ;)
     
  11. greg

    greg

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    You have me on that one, Kate! I really should preview my posts, as my current keyboard seems to require the force of a sledgehammer for letters to register. At the most inopportune times, apparently.

    Below is your last post, edited.

    So, you discredit one generalization by using another? Age has nothing to do with intelligence either. I will be the first to say I am naive about some things, but that doesn't mean I'm opening invitations to insult my age, intelligence or anything else about me. I don't enjoy being talked down to and I will make sure you know that.
    I agree you can't get spelling or grammar through some skulls, no matter how many years you try. I do think there's a better chance of succeeding if you do try.
    Maybe I'm wrong about going to a school that includes academics. Maybe it's no better than getting a certificate after 6 months. It is my opinion that you should get every bit of education that you can.

    Welcome to the glass house Kate, enjoy the view! :p :D :D
     
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    As a former community college instructor I am truly astonished at the poor spelling and dictionary skills held by today's college students. We are a very alliterate country with people knowing more about the sports page than the world around them.
     
  13. holydiver

    holydiver

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    You already talked down to everyone else on this board with your I am going to a "real school" and it just shows more dedication. You totally misunderstand the age comment I once too thought the education system meant something till I kept meeting college grads who had zero grasp of history or spelling. When you get older you will realize the fallacy of all the degrees our education system shoves down our throats. Look at all the art schools in this country how many great artists have they produced?. Some things you just can't teach you can teach someone how to cook but you can never teach the intangibles a Chef needs like timing and creativity and passion not to mention work ethic. You know I have nothing against any school I think JW and Cia have produced many fine Chefs but I also think they have turned out droves of awful cooks too. I have worked with tons of people with your same attitude I went to CIA a "real school" I am better I know more etc. believe me you will get eaten up and spit out in real kitchens if you think that. Do not believe the hype..................
     
  14. katew

    katew

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    Ok, I never said *I* was better for going to J&W. I just think the whole experience is better there because of the well-roundedness of the curriculum. I don't even really know--I haven't even started yet! Everything I say is speculation at this point. Let's call a truce--let me have my opinions and I'll let you have yours. When I find out 10 years or heck, maybe 5 years, down the road that I was totally wrong and that I should have just gone to apprentice for someone or something like that, I will come back and be the first to tell all about it.
    I am trying to go into this humbly and just give my opinions but it seems I am coming off as a know it all. I really didn't mean to.
     
  15. chefclaycollins

    chefclaycollins

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    I am a small town guy that has no real desire to be an executive chef at a 4 star hotel or even live in a major city for any length of time. I love cooking with all of my heart and plan to open a restaurant in my home town some day. Unfortunately their are some VERY poor slop houses in my area and I don't have much options on places to go work at to learn.
    The restaurant that I am working in now is the place I have learned almost everything about cooking. The thing that makes me sad is that the Chef/Owner is now retired and I am doing his job, which leaves me no one to really talk to and push me to the next level. This is OK, I am pretty motivated to learn and have been reading books like the daily news paper, but I feel the need for more.
    I feel like I'm at a crossroads really. I think that i have enough knowledge to open my own restaurant (I even have plenty of financial backing!), but I am scared to because I have a small voice in the back of my head that says "You need to go to school first DUMMY!" Am I just smoking crack? I just wonder if a degree of any sort will be worth going away for two years (or whatever) and losing all of the customers that eat my food and love it know.

    Any one out there running their own restaurant without a degree or know someone that does want to give me some advice?

    Is school for me or should I just keep doing what I have been?
     
  16. culinarian247

    culinarian247

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    Yes oui are!!! :D
    Ize be vewry illiterate. I does go to a community college tooo.


    I have so much fun on the boards. I love it here. :cool:

    Don't be mad I'm just having a good thyme.
     
  17. nick.shu

    nick.shu

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    heh, love this argument. I for one advise you to consider your position for a single moment.

    You have a wealth of experience in this industry.
    You somewhat doubt your worth to a certain point.

    Given these two pieces of information, you have to look at what you feel you lack, and how to resolve that situation.

    Easy. If you feel that you need the education to achieve a certain level, then go and do it. It appears that you might think that you are missing some knowledge somewhere along the line and that it may help you to run your own establishment.

    As for the "Real School" bit, dont worry about it. These other people may have the education, but lack the experience to put it into practice to coin a phrase. If you were to through the system yourself, you would find a distinct advantage over the other students. If people ask me about my school, i tell them, otherwise i dont say anything.

    another thing that i find with some coursework is that it helps to provide some competencies and also helps identify strong and weak points.

    However, the bottom line is that the decision you make, you should do it for yourself, for your own reasons and you should find that this is all you need.
     
  18. eds77k5

    eds77k5

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    sorry if i am posting late on this thread but i had to read it a few times to get at what you are asking. i take it that you would be happy living in your home town which sounds to be a moderate to small town. you already have a client base, what are their tastes, what will sell, can your patrons sustain you through slow months, is there enough traffic for growth. speaking from experience, i have owned my own shop without a degree or certificate, small town, meat and potato people, simple food done well, it worked ok. i regret that i have no formal education, i was passed over once where i am now chef because of no certification, and they pay less, go figure. think about what you want for yourself, count the cost so to speak, there are some good programs at community college level, for that matter there are a whole lot of cooking schools that offer two week or six week programs, whats your need, whats your budget, maybe go to europe for a 26 week program then open your shop, the local papers would eat that up, anyway you go, good luck to you, and dont look back with any regrets
     
  19. chefclaycollins

    chefclaycollins

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    The town that I'm from has about 2500 people with another town of 10k a couple of miles away. The town is always busy with people and is BEGGING for some good restaurants. There is a ton of people moving up here from San Francisco, and they bring their tastes with them.

    I have a pretty good following and have even won some local awards. I was seriously thinking of moving away to get some knowledge under my belt before I open my own restaurant here, but a couple of weeks ago I got some crazy news:

    I'm going to be a DAD!

    My wife and I had been trying for a couple of years now, but right when we had given up, it happened. I think that it happened for a reason though. Going to culinary school is sounding not so important and getting real world training is sounding a whole lot better (Need the $$$ now!)

    My goal now is to open my own place and get it going with a nice strong staff, then go take some classes around the world and learn to cook from people that know what's going on. I think that if I do it right I can learn way more this way and not get to into debt doing it.

    It seems like life is all about experience and I think that time will give me what I need. I love food and cooking and will always find ways to learn something about both of them, maybe I won't ever go to culinary school. Maybe I will. Who knows. I think I'll be alright either way though.

    Thanks for the thoughts!
     
  20. culinarian247

    culinarian247

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    Congrats on the new bambino, Papa Clay!! :)


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