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Enrolling in an online cooking school can be challenging. While many of these online programs do contain valuable information, many people may find that learning cooking skills online is not easy. Still, there are some tried and true ways of determining which online cooking schools are worth your time and money.
As with a traditional culinary school, an online cooking school must have a well-rounded curriculum. Take a look at the courses offered, and try to determine whether or not courses cover practical cooking information. During this process, note those schools that offer video lectures in conjunction with textbook lessons. Often, observing cooking techniques via video is the best way to ensure a clear understanding of various culinary techniques.
If possible, try and acquire a course curriculum prior to enrolling in an online cooking school. Some curricula are heavily based upon research and reading, while others present a more hands-on approach. Also, note the different types of cuisines that are covered by each course. Some schools offer basic techniques based upon traditional cuisine, while others tend to focus upon modern skills and cuisines.
Students who intend to work as professional cooks should look for a curriculum that emphasizes learning about restaurant and hospitality management in addition to technical cooking skills. Most professional cooking jobs will require some level of knowledge of running a kitchen and possibly an entire restaurant. This includes knowing which equipment to order—such as the best cookware for glass-top stoves or best forks for pasta dishes—how to stick to a budget, and how to supervise kitchen staff.
While it might be hard to speak with a former or current student of the school in consideration, this kind of insider insight can be valuable. Also, observe the student to faculty ratio within a particular course or program. Many online schools accept a large number of students, though gaining teacher attention in this situation can be highly difficult. Next, think about the duration of the programs offered.
Many online cooking schools offer short programs that range from two to five months, while other schools offer complete programs that last for two or more years. Students looking for some quick brush-up courses may benefit from a shorter program, while students looking for complete programs may have to look a bit harder to find degree offerings.
Those seeking to obtain a culinary position following an online cooking school course should look for a school that has a high job placement percentage. Inquire as to whether or not an online cooking school has some form of job placement program. If a school is lacking this kind of program, graduates may have a harder time finding a job following course completion.
Lastly, make sure that an online cooking school is recognized within the culinary field. Those schools that are not well-known often produce graduates that cannot find employment. There are many different online cooking schools available, though only a few of them present students with a complete culinary package.