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What is Culinary Arts Really?

By Patti Nelson

In theory what is it?

Culinary Arts is the study of cooking and the culinary industry. This is a career-based education where you learn the cooking skills necessary to work within the culinary industry, as well as learn about food service, restaurant management, and other skills to have a career in culinary arts.

What is it used for?

You can own your own restaurant, work on a cruise ship, be a food critic or food writer, work in fine dining management, do food photography, or work in sales.

What does the major actually entail - work-wise?

You spend a lot of time in the kitchen for hands-on experience, but there is classroom time too. You learn about the history of food and the science behind food. You learn staging, plating, nutrition…everything you'll need if you run a restaurant or work for someone else.

What kind of jobs do you get with it?

Executive Chef

Chef de cuisine

Sous Chef

Executive Pastry Chef

Sushi Chef

Catering Business Owner

Franchise Business Owner

Bar/Nightclub Owner

Food Product Inventor /Entrepreneur

Deli Managers

Meat / Butcher Managers

Pastry & Baking Managers

Cake Decorators

Wine & Spirits Associates

Banquet Manager/Front Desk Manager

Food & Beverage Director

Conference Center Sales Manager

General Manager of Hospitality

What are the fellow students like (personalitywise) in it?

My classmates tended to be high energy, really passionate and into cooking. Creative but not nerdy. Really loved what they were doing. Outgoing.

Common Misconceptions

People think you don't need to go to school to get into the culinary industry: wrong! You can start without a degree, but you won't get very far, and everyone WITH a degree will get the good jobs while you're still waiting tables or being the food prep person in the back of the kitchen. You have to get a degree!!

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Schools that offer Bachelors for culinary arts


Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc Major unemployment rate

_Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etcAll Majors
Minimum Wage%5%4
All Others%84%87
More: Unemployment for all Majors *** not counting stay at home parents *** not counting those currently in grad school

Are things going well in Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc?

Going Well %74
Not Going Well %26
More: All Majors Satisfaction ??? This is a social "life satisfaction" question. Overall, would people who graduated with a degree in Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc say that their life is going well? It could be interpreted in terms of stress, salary, long hours, future prospects, etc. *** not counting those currently in grad school

Graduates who stayed in Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc

Still in Field %69
Got out %31
More: All Majors Still in field ??? A high "got out" percentage can be interpreted a couple of ways -- for instance, perhaps the major is a great stepping stone to becoming a totally different career -- like a doctor. Or perhaps the jobs one gets with the major just aren't that great. *** not counting those currently in grad school
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