3 Great Reasons to Seriously Explore Online Culinary Programs
Most roles within culinary management and similar areas are very hands-on in nature. But that doesn't necessarily mean you have to attend a physical campus to get an education that helps you enter this industry or move your existing culinary career forward. In fact, aspiring hospitality managers and food-service professionals like you are increasingly turning to schools with online training courses. A few of the top reasons for choosing this route include:
1. Making the Impossible Possible
Say you want a better life and a culinary career you enjoy—but you currently have big responsibilities that make it impossible to pursue a traditional classroom education. How do you make it happen? Maybe you have small kids at home, a full-time job, or other commitments that you can't simply put aside or manage while in school.
Here's the solution: Pursue an online culinary education. It might be the only way you can attain your goals. But that's exactly why many schools now offer this option. They understand that you deserve to follow your passion just like anyone else. So they provide a more flexible way to do that.
Plus, for a lot of people, being able to learn from home is a real advantage. After all, it removes the need to commute to a campus each day or adhere to someone else's schedule. And it enables you to get a handle on what you're studying within an environment that you control, which means that you can actually end up learning more than if you were in a traditional classroom setting.
That's another reason why online culinary schools are often such a popular alternative. They allow you to set up your own learning-focused environment. But many of them also provide a learning experience that, in some ways, is more interactive than what you might find in a typical classroom. For example, many Web-based culinary programs incorporate learning aids like video tutorials and other multimedia presentations. A lot of them also provide access to online chat sessions, discussion forums, and other student-community features.
In addition, you can't overlook the fact that it's just as possible to earn a valuable culinary degree online as it is on campus. You'll find schools offering the chance to earn anything from four-year bachelor's degrees to two-year associate's degrees to diplomas or certificates that take as little as four months. And because the programs are online, you may even have the opportunity to accelerate your culinary training or stretch it out to accommodate your individual goals and circumstances.
2. Smoother Access to Good Opportunities
Getting an online culinary education can make it easier to transition into this industry as well as move into higher positions if you are already a part of it. That's because it gives you access to an essential base of knowledge that is often harder to acquire through on-the-job training alone. As a result, good employers are increasingly seeking to hire people who've received formal culinary schooling or restaurant management training, regardless of whether they completed it online or on a college campus.
Plus, today's online and distance-learning culinary programs cover some of the most marketable skill areas you can learn. For example, it's easy to find courses that can teach you about:
- Managing food and beverage operations
- Creating winning restaurant concepts
- Planning menus
- Developing budgets and controlling costs
- Purchasing ingredients and equipment
- Hiring, supervising, and motivating culinary staff
- Handling food safely, sanitizing workspaces, and preventing fires
- Providing food services at special events
- Marketing restaurants or other culinary services
- Providing excellent customer service and hospitality
- Managing culinary facilities
- Using professional kitchen tools
- Developing proper cooking and baking techniques
- Preparing delicious and visually appealing meals
- Starting a catering business
3. Training Options for Stable and Vibrant Occupations
Not everyone who enters this industry wants to become a chef. In fact, a lot of people love food but would rather pursue that interest in other ways. So online culinary colleges offer great training options for those looking to help create outstanding dining experiences without necessarily becoming a full-time kitchen pro. And it just so happens that such career paths frequently offer some of the culinary sector's most compelling opportunities.
For instance, the field of restaurant management is full of reliable jobs that offer the potential to advance into roles that pay very well. After all, employment in the American restaurant sector has outpaced overall employment growth since the turn of this century. And the industry's workforce is projected to expand within every state between 2015 and 2025.* In 2015, the average salary of restaurant general managers in the U.S. was $71,340.**
Other examples include catering and hotel management. In 2014, social caterers sold more than $8.6 billion of food and drink services in America.*** And in 2013, the U.S. was home to over 52,880 hotel and lodging properties, which included 3,840 resorts.****
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* National Restaurant Association, website last visited on August 11, 2015.
** Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on April 22, 2016.
*** Statista, website last visited on August 11, 2015.
**** American Hotel & Lodging Association, website last visited on August 11, 2015.