"Traditional" Culinary School vs Tech School

Joined Mar 2, 2013
Hello all!

So, I have a dilemma.  After being in the industry for 8 years, I'm finally ready to go to culinary school.  I've worked in fine dining for about 5 years and I am currently general manager of a coffee shop.  I'm ready to get back to the kitchen and I feel this will help me tremendously.  The problem, however, is choosing a school.  I'm married and my wife has a good job and is happy where she is, so moving isn't an option.  I have to keep my current job, so it will pretty much be part time school and will be commuting.  I live in middle Georgia and all the schools I'm looking at are in Atlanta.  The big question is, if I get a tech school associates degree and then transfer to either Le Cordon Bleu or Georgia State for a bachelors, will this look worse than a full degree from LCB?  I'm not going to lie, money is an issue, which makes the tech school option very attractive.  Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
Joined Jan 22, 2012
Unless you go to CIA or Johnson and Wales it really doesnt matter where you go from most employers perspectives.   Go where its cheaper.
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Joined Jun 10, 2009
I agree with Twyst.  If you can't go to CIA or Johnson & Wales go where's it's cheaper.  I attended Le Cordon Bleu and can't find a job to save my life.  None of the classes I took there transfer and I feel I've wasted valuable educational monies.  The only job I could get 6 years after leaving school (long story) was on a food truck - and was edged out because the chef hired a male graduate from CIA.  
Joined May 11, 2001
As far as I know, the only degree-granting culinary schools are CIA and Johnson and Wales. All others give diplomas or certificates.  Le Cordon Bleu has a Masters program, but you have to already have an undergrad degree or a Grand Diplome for that, I believe.

What is your professional cooking experience to date? If you have never worked back of the house, I suggest you do that at any level before you proceed with culinary school. A culinary degree is no guarantee of success in the field.
Joined Sep 9, 2011
@chefjune.  I live in El Paso, TX and graduated from the local community college and received a one year certificate and an associate degree of applied science in culinary arts.  I believe I got a good education with a community college price.  They have a great program there and it's all about what you put into it.  
Joined Oct 8, 2011
After years of experience I went to a tech school but was less then impressed overall.  Now that I have spent a year and too much money for no degree I start CIA in a month.  I should have just done this to start with.
Joined Apr 17, 2006
You didn't say what you did in the fine dining field. Knowing that would help us give you better advice I think.
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