Culinary School Rankings: Should They Influence Your Decisions?
Should you rely on culinary school rankings when deciding where to get that all-important training? Who ranks these culinary schools and what criteria are used? That's actually the first question you should be asking when looking over rankings of any educational institution, especially culinary arts schools.
Presently, there are at least 550 culinary schools all over the United States. It's a mixture of programs offered by colleges and universities, specialty schools and trade or vocational schools. Your goals should give you an idea where to get your culinary arts training.
Remember, culinary arts education, even the short-term courses, can cost quite a bit. There are of course, financial aids and even culinary arts scholarships awarded but tuition isn't the only expense when you pursue this field of study.
If you want to refer to the culinary school rankings list, then know that those ranked among the best are also among the priciest. Top schools
Among the criteria used to come up with the culinary school rankings were class size, degrees or programs offered, student-teacher ratio, fees, and instructors. One important criteria included was the employment rate of graduates within six months after leaving school.
The schools' sizes vary, from the small Tante Marie in California to Johnson & Wales University, which has an enrollment of 5,000 at any given time for its programs. Online culinary schools were not included in the list.
Johnson & Wales and the CIA share a similar 98% employment rate, although the former charges more for its programs ($49,960 vs $41,450) than the latter. Johnson is known as the first university in America that offered a bachelor of culinary arts degree.
It is interesting to note that those included in the culinary school rankings list require instructors to have a minimum of at least 8 years professional experience. This way you know the mentors walk their talk and know whereof they speak.
New England Culinary Institute has the smallest student-teacher ratio at 10:1, while the biggest are at 18:1.
Not the rank, not the school
Now that you have a pretty good idea about the top ranked schools, will you be heading there? First of all, your success does not totally depend on where you got your education or culinary arts training. Your talent, skills, perseverance, dedication and willingness to learn all contribute to what you make of your life.
Secondly, your choice of career path and schools should be based on what your goals are. Yes, these may be the top in culinary school rankings but are they the best for you? The truth is: sometimes what people perceive to be the best may not necessarily suit you.
What you make of yourself will depend on the amount of effort you put in to realize your dreams. It's not the rank of your school, or even the school itself. Rankings may be based on objective criteria, but in the end, everything still depends on you.
Will you let culinary school rankings dictate your life to become the master chef?
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