Is a diploma just as good as a degree?

Which is better in the long run?

  • Degree

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Diploma

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Joined Oct 14, 2010

I am making a HUGE transition in my life and at the age of 35 I'm headed back to school.  I am applying to the Orange County Art Institute for their baking program. They offer a diploma and a degree program but I'm not sure which one will be better for me in the long run.

My goal is to have a higher skill set in order to take my baking up to a higher level and use those skills doing things out of my home - I do this now, but am very limited as I don't have the skills to do everything people ask of me.  Yes, my dream is to actually own a bakery, but this will come with time, if it comes at all.

My question is this: Is spending the extra time and money worth going for the actual degree or will the diploma work just as well?

I understand that I will probably get a job working in a bakery at some point so will I have a better chance of this with a degree over a diploma?

I'm going to go check out the school this weekend but I wanted to see if anyone here had any thoughts.

Thank you so much!

Joined Oct 10, 2005
To me, baking is a trade, and as such I really don't see how you can give "degrees" in a trade.

I'd love to hear a culinary school's recruitment officer's opinion on this, but so far, no one has done so.

Before you start plunking money down, I strongly suggest--no, wait I INSIST you work in a bakery for a few weeks. Doesn't matter where or what, scrubbing out mixing bowls, hauling sacks of flour, what ever, just get a taste.

Skill sets are comprised of two halves. 

The first is knowledge:  Why it is done this way, what to do if you make a mistake, and how to use the knowledge to prevent further mistakes, anticipate trouble, and how to streamline.  Think of this knowledge as a basic grade 12 diploma and you are applying in a University, no one cares how you got the gr. 12, or which school you graduated from, only that you passed.  You can get baking knowledge from a C.C, a fancy school, from books, from working under knowledgeable people.  Main thing is you know how ingredients behave the way they do and how to manipulate these "laws" to your advantage.

The second half is skill:  Skill come from repetition, learning how to move your body, think on your feet, how to move your hands, how to use the equipment to its fullest capacity.  This takes time.

When it comes time to open up your own place, the banks or whatever Shylocks you choose will be more interested in your business savvy: marketing and overall business plans,  than in your diplomas.

Again, I insist you work in a bakery for a short stint.  Please take note of the costs involved of daily operations, the customer's expectations, and the salaries paid to employees.

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