How Competitive Are Today’s Culinary Schools and Institutes?
For many aspiring chefs, culinary school is the first definitive step they take in making their dreams come true. But, how does one go about getting into the various culinary programs? How hard is it to get into your choice of culinary institutes?
Different cooking schools and baking schools will have their own requirements for those who wish to attend. Generally speaking, however, applicants to culinary school need to have a high school diploma or a GED. The admissions department at each school will be able to explain the application process to prospective students, and they may request your transcripts and letters of recommendation.
The competition for spots in any given culinary program will also vary. The top culinary schools, like The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, New York, and the Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island are going to have a much more competitive application process than your local community college.
The prestige that goes along with graduating from one of these culinary arts schools helps to bolster the graduate’s resume immediately; and this alone can be enough to make these schools more attractive.
Staying Close to Home
While many aspiring young chefs dream of attending these top culinary schools, it is important to remember that they are not the only place to receive an excellent education. Often, staying close to home to attend school is so much more cost effective, and if you have the talent and passion, then attending a school simply because of its name is not a necessity.
On the other hand, it may be your dream to go to the French Culinary Institute, and if that’s the case, you can certainly work toward that goal.
When choosing from the various culinary programs, remember to take your own needs into consideration. Review the school’s curriculum and reputation. Pay attention to the class size and student-to-instructor ratio to ensure that you’re going to get one-on-one time. Also consider the facilities when deciding upon a culinary school. You want to use the best equipment and have the most realistic experience possible.
The duration of each of the culinary programs can also help you to narrow down your choices, as can the cost. While these are certainly important considerations, don’t overlook simple things such as whether or not the culinary colleges have been accredited by the proper organizations.