What Is An Accelerated Culinary Arts Degree?
If you’ve spent some time working in a professional culinary capacity, culinary school might seem like a waste of time. After all, you might have already learned all those basic steps like knife skills, prep work, and presentation.
Why pay someone else to teach you what you already know? Accelerated culinary degree programs exist to build on the kitchen skills you already have in a way that enhances your education, rather than merely repeating it.
With the same final goal as regular culinary school (a degree or certification, advanced cooking skills, better job opportunities), you can finish in less time and with a stronger focus on what matters most to your culinary career—whether that’s a more in-depth look at kitchen management or a shift to nutrition and healthy eating alternatives.
In fact, most cooks who attend an accelerated culinary degree program do so in order to focus on one particular subject area, most commonly those of:
- Food and Wine Pairings
- International Cuisine
- Health and Nutrition
- Food Safety
- Menu Development
- Restaurant Management
- Cost Control
- Marketing/Business Development
- Kitchen Technology
These types of programs are usually offered in two different formats: at traditional culinary schools and online. Traditional culinary school accelerated programs are often offered in the evening or on weekends, when it’s possible for working chefs to fit in a few extra classes. Online formats are growing in popularity, as well, which is fairly new for the culinary profession.
In most cases, online culinary school courses are very limited. Cooking is very much a hands-on learning process, and no amount of cooking videos and instructional pamphlets can replace watching and learning from someone who knows what they’re doing.
For accelerated culinary programs, the focus is less on hands-on skills and more on increasing your background and academic knowledge. This makes it possible to learn through an online course at your own pace—even from distances of hundreds or even thousands of miles.
And in many cases, you can still end up with an Associate degree (or higher), which is perfect for those who have their culinary career sights set high. Depending on where you go to school, you may need to enter school with a core curriculum of classes already under your belt (or the equivalent in experience).
There is no national standard in accelerated culinary degree programs, which means that you should always do your research before you sign up for any course.
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