What degree is best for you?

As with any career path choosing the right direction is imperative for your personal satisfaction and long-term growth. Determining your path should start by answering the following questions:

  • What do you know about the industry?
  • What types of jobs are available?
  • What type of work and hours are involved?
  • What is the pay range I should expect?
  • What type of training do I need to be in this field?

Ideally you have experienced the industry prior to attending classes either through work experience and/or as a customer. If not, answering these questions can be done by working in the field in entry-level positions to familiarize yourself with the industry and/or job shadowing someone in the field who can share their passion for their business and give you their recommendations for getting into the industry. Regardless of your current experience, our recommendation to you would be to seek employment in the field, with either a hotel or restaurant, to expose yourself to the industry or to continue to gain work experience throughout your time in college. This experience will help you build your resume and expose yourself to a variety of career paths.

Once you have decided to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, the next step is to decide if your passion is in customer service, food preparation and/or management. Setting a goal will help you determine the most appropriate path to take in our program.

  • Culinary Arts A.A.S. Degree: a two-year program with an option of either an emphasis in culinary arts, which focuses on back-of-the-house food production, or the baking and pastry option, which focuses on the skills needed to work in bakeries and confectionaries. Skills taught in this program include cooking techniques, purchasing and pricing of product, menu design, plate presentation and the overall operation of foodservice entities.
  • Hospitality Management A.A.S. Degree: the focus is on what is called the front-of-the-house and revolves around customer service. Students interested in this area work in front office operations, catering operations, hotel and restaurant management and sales. This degree emphasis is on the business operation focusing on accounting, supervision, marketing and management.
  • Baking Certificatea one-year program focusing on skills needed for staff positions in bakeries and/confectionaries. The curriculum involves production of specialty desserts and breads, chocolates and sugars and cake decorating.
  • Pursuing one, two or all three depends on your overall goal. If you want to own your own bakery then a Baking Certificate coupled with Hospitality Management would be the best avenue for you. If you want to own your own restaurant then Culinary Arts coupled with Hospitality Management would be the best avenue for you. A combination of all three areas, whether degrees and/or the certificate, will give you diverse career options in the Hospitality Industry. Students pursuing more than one degree will take an additional one to two semesters to complete and graduate from the program.