Studying Business vs Culinary School

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by CruzGibbs1975, May 18, 2018.

  1. CruzGibbs1975

    CruzGibbs1975

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    Hey guys, I've seen some people suggest doing a degree in business while working in kitchens for experience instead of attending culinary school. For me, this would be a cheaper option because i could attend the university in my state rather than pay for a private culinary school in another state. Can you guys think of pros and cons for going this route?
    Thanks.
    Sam
     
  2. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    Retired Owner/Operator
    Hi Sam and welcome to CT!

    A Culinary Arts degree is only relevant to a career in the food industry, whereas, a degree in Business could benefit you both in and out of the culinary world.

    The harsh reality of the food industry is that its not for everyone. Should you decide one day that its not for you, a degree in business will allow you to transition into another career field whereas a culinary arts degree will not afford such flexibility.

    From a practical point of view, if you intend on going to school full time, that will leave very little time to work in a kitchen. Whoever is suggesting that you should do both probably didn't go to college or has not w0rked in a commercial kitchen. I suppose you could do both on a part time basis, but, I think you will find it infinitely easier to attend college part time than finding a part time job in a commercial kitchen doing something other than washing dishes or some basic prep.

    I never went to culinary school and I have a degree in business that proved to be extremely valuable to me in operating a restaurant. But, my situation was rather unique. My uncle taught me everything I know about the business and about food over the span of many decades. Not everyone has such an opportunity.

    For whatever its worth, I think you should finish the Business Degree and then revisit what you want to do with food and cooking.

    Good luck! :)
     
  3. doraima3875

    doraima3875

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    I agree with sgsvirgil. I didn't go to culinary school either. Although I had worked in the food and beverage industry for many years as FOH, then recently for 6 years worked in other positions in the production kitchens for several restaurants, did some catering, barista, baker and now as a garde manger. Before 5 years, I finished my business degree which is a personal accomplishment. While I was getting my business degree full-time. I had to work 2 part-time jobs. I, too, never went to culinary school and it was probably my dream of mine, but thought that getting a business degree is more versatile because you can use it on your future business and/ or personal endeavors and goals. I still had a passion for serving people food and wanted to get some production kitchen experience. I learned how to cook, prep and deal with pressure, time and work with great people.
     
  4. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    As a culinary school graduate who had plenty of part time jobs in kitchens while in school, I vote for the business degree.
    As the others have said, the business degree can be applied to any business, not so much the culinary degree.
    To put sgsvirgils' advice another way, Do you want to work in kitchens/restaurants or do you want to know how to cook. You can learn how to cook well without working in kitchens and you can work in plenty of kitchens without ever really knowing how to cook.
    As for part time jobs, plenty of places will hire you part time. In addition to restaurants, talk to hotels, country clubs and catering companies. Simply state which hours and days of the week you are able to work and which hours you are in school.
    I supported myself while getting a Bachelors degree by working part time in kitchens and found that a dependable part time employee is more valuable than a not so dependable full time employee
     
  5. jasimo

    jasimo

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    uk city and guilds 706/3 pastry and larder, exec chef, 2 rosettes award, michelin trained, private
    Hello cruz,
    As i can see you are asking; do i want to be a professional chef or a cook with a business degree, i trained for 3 years full time in europe then went on to advanced training in restaurants, i came out as a fully trained butcher, pastry chef, garde manger, sauce chef, world fish and seafood handler, advanced food hygiene cert from CDC, and i have a lectures licence, go to ICE in NEW YORK and become a chef, its a hard life but has many rewards if you are well trained, ive spent more time in training than a doctor, hell but worth it, you dont need a business degree, i have 4 restaurants now because i can have empathy for my staff, they run my business as i can see the whole logistics as they do, customer comes second in my mind. Great, happy, well paid staff will be the mainstay in our business, the world now has a massive shortage of professional chefs, its a big problem here in uk, i cant staff my brigade. i pay 22 us dollars an hour for a good chef here from agencies, 2 of my chefs have gone to private yachts earning 100k usd a year tax free, seeing the world for free, the world is your oyster now for well trained chefs.
     
  6. Nabiullah

    Nabiullah

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    Hello cruz,
    As i can see you are asking; do i want to be a professional chef or a cook with a business degree, i trained for 3 years full time in europe then went on to advanced training in restaurants, i came out as a fully trained butcher, pastry chef, garde manger, sauce chef, world fish and seafood handler, advanced food hygiene cert from CDC, and i have a lectures licence, go to ICE in NEW YORK and become a chef, its a hard life but has many rewards if you are well trained, ive spent more time in training than a doctor, hell but worth it, you dont need a business degree, i have 4 restaurants now because i can have empathy for my staff, they run my business as i can see the whole logistics as they do, customer comes second in my mind. Great, happy, well paid staff will be the mainstay in our business, the world now has a massive shortage of professional chefs, its a big problem here in uk, i cant staff my brigade. i pay 22 us dollars an hour for a good chef here from agencies, 2 of my chefs have gone to private yachts earning 100k usd a year tax free, seeing the world for free, the world is your oyster now for well trained chefs.