Culinary / Hospitality Programs

The hospitality field is vast, employing chefs, tourism managers and hoteliers. In the past, savvy professionals who could boast experience were able to land positions. Not every talented chef, for example, trained at a top culinary school. Today, however, formal education is typically needed to enter the field. Many amateur chefs pursue formal post-secondary training through culinary arts schools and hospitality degree programs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Culinary training programs can help students learn serving techniques, cooking skills and kitchen management techniques. Apprentice chefs may take courses in food preparation, nutrition and menu planning. They must also gain real-time experience in commercial kitchens through apprentice programs. When they are placed with an experienced mentor, future sous-chefs develop their skills and bolster their classroom learning, according to the BLS website. Outside the kitchens, prospective hoteliers often train by taking hotel management courses. The BLS notes that nearly 150 universities offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in hospitality management, and that graduates of these courses of study are increasingly pursued by industry employers for their technical and organizational skills. Travel agents are yet another group of hospitality-related professionals. A number of hospitality schools offer bachelor's and master's degrees in tourism management, the BLS adds. Prospective agents may learn to deal with international clients or how to eventually build and run their own travel companies.