Learning to Cook – Cooking Schools and Getting the Best Return For Your Money

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By JeffreyThurber

I was just watching TV and saw that for Johnson and Wales University which is a locally cooking school located in downtown Charlotte North Carolina. Upon researching their website just a tiny bit and see they charge $22,000 a year in tuition alone. Upon a little deeper research and watching recent episodes of MSNBC where it was made aware that many of these graduates from these expensive cooking schools cannot find jobs that pay more than $10 an hour or fare even worse without a job. With graduation rates as low as 50% or even lower at some of these for-profit cooking schools is there a better alternative?

The biggest problem is how many years do you have to go this cooking school to become a chef and get a good paying chefs job? Apparently it is more than one and with the fact that most of these for-profit cooking schools give financial aid that only consists of student loans that leads to many heavily or overburdened students that when they graduate cannot possibly pay their debts back and live on their own or live a comfortable lifestyle. This is directly a kin to online colleges like Phoenix University and others that basically give oneself a degree that no one hires or that does not transfer to other fully accredited colleges like state colleges and universities.

As a matter of fact some of the online colleges have not been required to place a disclaimer in their TV advertisements that states that credits are unlikely to transfer. And numerous employers will actually place on their websites and in their hiring materials that if you have gone or attended one of these online colleges that you basically should not bother applying. Are these cooking schools any different? Yes, they are not online and many of them are more credited or at least better accredited then the basically fraudulent schools like Phoenix University (if you were to look at the Whois database, which lists all domain register information you will see that the organizations Phoenix University lists as being accredited by are owned by Phoenix University itself which is basically fraud for all intents and purposes).

Now some of these cooking schools like Johnson Wales University are fairly well respected, but with limited financial aid packages that consist mostly of loans is there a better alternative? Yes, there is for anyone in any state. It is called your local community colleges. Almost every single community college out there has well accredited cooking programs and similar that can teach you the exact same courses, cooking skills and more for far less than any of these for-profit cooking schools like Johnson and Wales University and others. Another nice feature of learning to cook at a community college is that the courses that you take are directly transferable to a four year or other school. Then you do not have to worry about transfer issues like you would with many of these cooking schools or online, for profit schools offering local cooking classes.

Just request a course catalog from your local community college and peruse through the cooking classes and see which ones will get you towards the degree that you want or teach you the skills that you desire. From learning how to barbecue, two creating a roast, to making exquisite Christmas cookies, to much more advanced subjects on cooking, mostly community colleges will offer all of it and more. Now, if you live out in waistline you might have traveled it go to the committee College offers an extensive list of cooking classes. There are also other alternatives to which are far less expensive than the for-profit cooking schools.

Viking, which makes expensive and high grade ovens and ranges amongst other products, offers cooking classes in most states for everyone from children to adults and for every level of all sorts of cooking techniques and ideas. Basically, Viking brings in their own or celebrity chefs and will teach all sorts of cooking concepts in everything from one day classes to classes that can last several weeks or even months. The general cost is between $60 and $100 a day for a Viking cooking class and you can find out more information on this their website.

So basically you do have alternatives, you don’t have to become heavily burdened by debt to become a chef or cook. You can use your local committee Colleges where financial aid consists mostly of grants rather than loans like with the for-profit cooking schools. You also can take other classes that may even go outside of the cooking curriculum sheet and exposure something different classes, courses and even majors and the best part is that all of it is transferable. Another alternative is cooking classes like Viking offers to get a taste of what cooking school is really like without having to obligate yourself financially to the tune $20-$30,000 or more. Common sense here would tell you that for-profit schools are just that, for their profit, not yours. Use your state school and university system and take advantage of low-cost or even free schools for manufacturers like Viking.

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