Thinking of a career in culinary arts? You'll probably want to know the top culinary schools in America, not necessarily because you absolutely want to study there but just to give you an idea why they rank as among the best.
The list of the top culinary schools in America is culled based on criteria that you may also consider when making your choice. However, there may be items that won't suit your goals so it is always best to do an in depth study before jumping in. Remember, it costs to get training in this field so you always want to make the investment count.
Criteria for choosing the bestculinary schools in America
What kind of criteria is used to come up with the top culinary schools in America? Reputation and prestige is usually one of them. They wouldn't be renowned or respected if they haven't earned that over time. Perhaps the best measure of success for any school is how its graduates turn out when they begin to apply what they've learned in the real world.
Because culinary arts, in large part, requires trade level skills, the schools listed offer a mixture of programs - from certificate or diploma to associate and bachelor degrees. Some offer all program levels, others concentrate on the more practical aspects. Generally, these colleges or institutes put an emphasis on training to become professionals.
Class size, faculty experience and qualification and fees are the other criteria used to rank the top 10 culinary schools.
You may have other considerations when coming up with your shortlist of culinary arts schools that will suit you best. But these are pretty good guidelines, next to what your career goals are that includes the culinary arts degree you wish to pursue.
And the top culinary schools in America are...
The Culinary Institute of America (New York)
The French Culinary Institute of New York City
Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute
Johnson & Wales University (Rhode Island)
New England Culinary Institute (Vermont)
California Culinary Academy
L'Academie de Cuisine (Maryland)
8Tante Marie's Cooking School (California)
Kendall College (Chicago)
George Brown Chef School (Toronto)
Location, of course, always has a bearing in your choice of school. As it is, getting a culinary arts education is costly, particularly if you are looking at the ones with culinary school rankings. So you'll have to consider if you can afford the extra cost if you had to go away to study. Yes there are financial aids and scholarships, but that's not always a guarantee.
Decide if you want to attend a small or big school. Tante Marie is the most intimate, and you have 26 weeks to complete its certificate training. On the other hand, Johnson & Wales University has a big campus and offers all levels of culinary arts training. That's why at any given time there are at least 5,000 students enrolled at the College of Culinary Arts.
The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York has a reputation that precedes it. That's why 98% of its graduates find employment in their field of study within six months after completing their culinary arts degree.
Compared to CIA and Johnson, which has a student-teacher ratio of 18:1, the New England Culinary Institute only has 10 students to one instructor. That's quite a difference, yet they all make it to the top culinary schools in America.
The cost of tuition in these top culinary arts schools range from $17,000 to $49,000, although this depends on the length of the program as well.
Here's the thing: if you were committed enough and very determined to become a professional chef or work in the field of culinary arts, an education even from a community college will be just as valuable. Yes, there is high value in being trained by instructors from top culinary schools and learning from their experience.
But if you got a good foundation, then worked your way up learning on the job from the best and the experts, you can probably make it as big. Who knows? You may eventually end up teaching at any of these top culinary schools in America in the future.
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