If nothing else, the recession that began toward the end of 2007 has shown us that there are few things more important in a career than job security. Moreover, it is important to understand that job security relates not only to the job that you currently hold, but extends to the ability of your work background and education to allow a smooth transition to another employer should your situation require it. Gaining a degree in culinary arts is the perfect way to ensure that there are job opportunities available to you in almost any economic environment as well as to offer you plenty of available options for career opportunities and advancement.

Career Options
Once you have a degree in the culinary arts, there are more career options available than you might expect. You’ll have more opportunities open to you than just working as a fry cook or head chef — although those are certainly viable options and some of the better known. With a culinary arts degree you can explore some of the more obscure and less understood roles. Maybe helping people with their wines choice as a sommelier might be something more preferable to you than getting your hands dirty back in the kitchen. It could be that working as a pastry chef, preparing all those delectable treats could be the job for you, or you might enjoy the saucier role, making sure all the sauces and gravies are prepared for the various dishes on the menu.

But it could be that you are more the take charge, get it done type, and would prefer leading your team to a successful dinner service each night. If that’s the case, a degree in the culinary arts can prepare you to be an executive chef. To prepare for this position you would most likely begin as a sous-chef, getting down and dirty in the trenches while supervising your team and making management decisions that affect the overall success of the restaurant or kitchen.

It is during your degree work and once you are out in the field in these types of positions that you will learn not only how to prepare and cook the various menu items but how to manage your restaurant as well. You’ll likely discover how to create and build a menu, how to properly staff and schedule, how to make food orders to maintain supply levels, do food and equipment inventories, and perform similar management duties.

Career Outlook
The great part about getting a degree in the culinary arts is that it can lead you down many career paths you might not expect when you begin your education. Rather than ending up in a restaurant or kitchen, you might find yourself in more of a food related type position. A background in culinary arts can prepare you for a career in food or culinary equipment sales, a role as a food critic, a consultant or entrepreneur, and even get your ready for your big start as a television personality with your own cooking show. Moreover, as long as people still need to eat, you’ll likely have the job security you’ve been looking for in a career.

Culinary Programs
It is important when looking at various degree programs that you take into consideration exactly what is being offered. If you are set on focusing your career toward one specific area of the culinary arts, then it might be beneficial to look for more specialized degree programs. If you aren’t sure exactly where you might fit best in the culinary arts, it could be better to start with a degree program that offers a broader scope of educational courses, allowing you to experience a wide variety of culinary related topics and enabling you better to pick a career that suites you best. Either way, a well-rounded program, with a good mix of hands on learning, management, and leadership courses can be most advantageous for many when preparing for a career in the culinary arts.

There are many colleges that offer courses in Culinary Arts. To see these and others, visit the Culinary Schools directory today.