If you're an avid baker, you may dream of going to pastry school. However, pursuing your passion can be a daunting decision considering the price of learning the culinary arts. Unlike a general program, patisserie focuses exclusively on the art of dessert. Most institutions will teach you basics that elevate your baking techniques, but a 2-4 year college will also include fundamentals of the restaurant business.
Becoming a student requires plenty of time, effort, and money, so you should be totally sure about the decision that you make. If you're still on the fence about whether to apply, take basic cooking classes to get a feel for culinary education, and read up on different culinary arts institutes.
A reputable program will enhance your skills in three primary areas - baking skills, business acumen, and interpersonal relations.
As the name suggests, patisserie classes will bring your ability to create delectable desserts to the next level. Your teachers will drill baking fundamentals like dough-making into your brain, and you'll have the opportunity to learn specialized techniques for everything from crafting specialty chocolates to decorating intricate wedding cakes.
In addition to the fundamentals, you'll also learn a lot about how the restaurant and baking world work. Your teachers will make sure that you fully understand the demands of your future position, and they'll give you tips for advancing in your industry and even starting your own bakery.
In the restaurant industry, you'll always be working with other people. In each of your classes, you'll work with others to complete a project, developing your ability to collaborate with a team in a high-pressure environment.
For most potential students, the major drawback of baking programs is the high price tag. Attending a well-known culinary arts institute can run over $40,000 per year, and Bachelor's degrees can become more expensive. However, you can also find high-quality programs for less, and you can even start small at a community college and then transfer.
Additionally, pay attention to what your tuition includes, and don't be afraid to ask about financial aid. A university that includes room and board in its $40k tuition will end up costing less than a $25k school that doesn't. Furthermore, you can also receive scholarships or grants, so don't pass on an expensive institution until you get in touch with admissions reps.
The answer to this question is up to you. No one should go to pastry school if they aren't committed to the craft. However, if you have a pure passion for baking and want to make it your career, then absolutely yes. Despite the high price tag, there's nothing better for your development than surrounding yourself with a campus full of like-minded professionals.
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