Is culinary a good trade?

The culinary industry has great potential and for chefs and head cooks, things look almost as good. The labor market is expected to increase by 25% over the same period of time, with an increase of 28,000 jobs. Simply put, if you're pursuing the culinary arts for the sake of glamor and fame, you might want to consider trying to become a pop star. Being a chef is a difficult job and no one offers you a cooking program straight out of cooking school.

Having a realistic view of what you're getting into will help future cooks tremendously. The work can be difficult, requiring long hours, repetitions and working under pressing time limits. Professional chef opportunities include catering services, fine dining restaurants, franchises, hotels, and many other food-related environments. No matter where you find work as a chef, culinary arts education provides the foundation of knowledge and skills to help you land your first position.

The most obvious advantage in any debate about the value of culinary school is education itself. All culinary school programs vary in length, class structure, and focus, but you can reasonably expect to leave culinary school with a basic understanding of the terms used in the kitchen. And, if the school is good, graduates will also know how to prepare dishes with those terms. Some programs can also teach the story of Paul Bocuse, the basics of table service, and elementary business classes.

Schools with bachelor's degrees even have some liberal arts courses, such as writing and history. Perhaps most importantly, Daniel Boulud explains that students in cooking schools will learn skills in a very basic way without the frills or shortcuts that they could learn in a professional kitchen.