Does a Culinary Degree Make Sense if You Don’t Want to be a Chef?

Does a Culinary Degree Make Sense if You Don't Want to be a chef

It is possible to be fascinated with the culture of food without wanting to be a chef. It was once a well-kept secret, but now it is common knowledge that working in a kitchen is hot, thankless, and stressful. Long hours and low pay in the early years drive many people away from the industry.

Those who stick with it find that compensation increases, but the long, hot days are a permanent part of the job. And stress? You are often caught between the restaurant owner, employees, and patrons, trying to create amazing meals on a tight budget. Is there a market for someone with a culinary degree in a less grueling career? Yes. This degree opens up plenty of options.

Why Culinary School?

Why attend culinary school if you don’t want to be a chef? The hospitality industry is appealing for many reasons and this degree helps you stand out. For those who want to live in an exotic or vacation-friendly destination, having the skills needed to land a lucrative job in the area lets them make their dream a reality.

Culinary schools are also a good way to get a professional certification if you aren’t interested in attending college. Whether it is because of time constraints, lack of interest, or finances, many people choose to skip the college experience. The good news is, you can pay for culinary school by using student loans taken out through a private lender. Financing is quick and the repayment process affordable. Aside from some of the more elite choices, these programs are very affordable.

What You Can Do with Your Degree

So, you have your degree, now what? A culinary degree opens up many career choices in the hospitality field. You may choose to work as a publicist, spreading the word about a restaurant, hospitality group, or other related businesses. The job may require you to do everything from visit food festivals to maintain social media accounts. There will be plenty of variety to keep you busy working as a publicist.

Working as a food writer also allows you to enjoy the benefits of your education without working in a kitchen. Whether you work as a cookbook author, restaurant reviewer, or do some other type of writing, having an education in the field will help you stand out. You may also get the chance to work with celebrity chefs when working as a food writer. Most chefs that release cookbooks have help putting them together. For many food lovers, this is a dream job.

Creativity is a huge driving force for many people who have the desire to enter this industry in the first place. You probably know that there are fashion stylists, and home interior stylists, but might not realize that there is a niche industry for food stylists as well. Publications like magazines, cookbooks, and even social media content are all examples of culinary publications that typically use a food stylist to help create the perfect picture. 

Working as a vendor for a food supplier is another way to make a living in the industry without having to commit yourself to the role of a chef. In this position you will be responsible for selling specific product to restaurants and stores. One major benefit to this role is that you can be a part of the action of a kitchen, in smaller doses. Working closely with chefs to combine your product with their menu is a great way to flex your creative muscles as well. 

Working a Traditional Job

If you want to find a more traditional job but don’t want to attend college, a culinary certificate can help. You can find work alongside dieticians in hospitals and other commercial settings. While you won’t be responsible for the hands-on production of meals, you will handle inventory, purchasing, scheduling employees, and many other tasks. While not strictly food-related, having a food background is helpful. These jobs are typically performed during traditional office hours and offer the sorts of benefits, such as insurance and paid vacation, that many back-of-house employees can only dream of.

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