Online Culinary Degrees
Online culinary degrees, on the surface, seem like an unlikely prospect. After all, cooking is one of the most hands-on, experiential learning activities imaginable, so it seems like a challenging prospect to take this daily activity, and teach it a professional level online. The answer, however, is not as straightforward as a simple, “No, it’s not possible.”
A culinary degree encompasses many things beyond simply getting hands-on time in a kitchen, although, depending on your interest, that can be a major component of the process. While it’s true that most things found in the culinary world rest on a foundation of cooking and/or baking, there’s also an aspect of culinary degrees that translate very well to the online world, and those are the elements of business and management.
The Culinary Industry
Being able to cook is just one of many paths in the culinary industry. It is, first and foremost, a business like any other, which means that a certain amount of business and financial acumen is required to succeed and achieve profitability. Culinary online degrees can narrow the focus of business and management studies to the specific challenges that this industry must face, as this is not a traditional product-based marketing model, but instead follows the hospitality model of providing a consumable product and service, with repeat business and a very different brand of service, market and promotional strategy.
Those who choose to study this field will be in a good position to work in, manage, or eventually own a restaurant, hotel or catering business. And while the success of any business is dependent on a large number of factors—from management to work practices—the culinary industry itself is one that will always be in demand, regardless of changes to technology.
As to be expected from an industry so focused on food, the study and preparation of dishes is complex and extensive. Those wishing to focus on this area will likely not be able to attain a complete online culinary degree. Schools that offer courses in food preparation often require hands on experience and even training/intern/placement programs at actual restaurant or hotel facilities to give students practical working experience. While some lectures and even cooking demonstrations may be accessible online, it’s recommended that serious students of food preparation be prepared to go to campus for the full educational experience. As with other disciplines such as medicine, food preparation is one area where hands on experience will always trump theory.