Career Change - Why Culinary?

Most culinary colleges and cooking schools nationwide report that an increasing number of students are older adults with prior careers. Whether fulfilling lifelong dreams or trying something different, the old students are attracted to the wide variety of jobs in food service and to the possibility of success in an industry the National Restaurant Association projects will need an additional 1.8 million workers in the next 10 years.

A recent survey concludes that fifteen percent of this year's freshman class at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., are career changers or are those who previously studied subjects other than hospitality.

There is a strong response to recruitment efforts with students from other careers. There are many who want admission to improve their skills and increase their likelihood of achieving the goals they set for themselves.

To appeal to older career changers, schools are offering shortened programs, smaller classes, fast-track application processes and internships in restaurant and food operations.

Along with two-year associate's and four-year bachelor's degrees, the culinary-arts school of the art Institute in Denver offers a one-year cooking program for older students who already have degrees in other disciplines or who want to enter the industry quickly.

Whats most discouraging is that career changers may be naive about what it takes to become a professional chef, and therefore most do not fare well in their courses.

Most people get into culinary because of the glamor. You have to be organized, think on your feet and have a certain temperament for it. There is stress, heat, hot oils, boiling water, sharp knives. You have to be organized and focused and have a real passion for it. Cooking in a restaurant is very different from cooking at home.

About the Author

Culinary Artist - Specializes in French & Thai Cuisine
Date Posted : 14 - Feb - 2005
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