#1: What Does the School Offer?
The top culinary schools are going to offer an array of programs for you to choose from. This includes such things as cooking, baking, culinary management, catering and various other programs. Based upon the career path that you want to take, you need to choose a school that will allow you to get the necessary education.
#2: Where are Internships?
Internships are a big part of any of the culinary schools out there. By learning about the internships available early on, you can find out where you may be able to work down the road.
#3: Is there a Chance to Study Abroad?
Some of the larger schools have campuses around the world. This gives you the opportunity to study abroad, which can provide you with better technique and a way to get a competitive edge when you begin applying for premium positions in the culinary field.
#4: What Kinds of Degrees Can Be Obtained?
Some of the top cooking colleges will only offer a one-year certificate. This is not to say that you can't learn a lot from them, but it may hinder you within your career path. Find out if you can get an associate's degree or bachelor's degree. Some will even offer master and PhD programs.
#5: How Hands-On are the Programs?
Is the majority of your schooling hands-on or working out of a text book? Especially when it comes to choosing the top culinary schools, you want one where you will get hands-on experience with knives and ingredients.
#6: Do Employers Recruit from the School?
Some schools are known for being a recruiting ground for big employers. If there are big employers in your area, do they recruit from the school you are looking at or do they recruit from another one of the culinary schools nearby? Where the big employers recruit from can tell you a lot about the school's reputation.
#7: Is There a Restaurant on Premises?
Many colleges and universities have a restaurant on premises for students. This allows you to learn in a real environment and be able to learn all positions of a restaurant. Especially if you want to go into management, you need the experience working in each position so you know how to do the job and what to expect out of employees who are working for you in each of those positions.
#8: What is the Cost for Tuition?
The cost for tuition can vary significantly from school to school as well as program to program. Focus on what it will cost to attend the school. This includes calculating in tuition, room and board, lab fees, books, uniforms and anything else that may apply.
#9: How Does the School Rank?
When you look at culinary schools and how they rank in the country, how does the ones you are considering rank? Many employers look at the school you attended, not just at whether you have a degree.
#10: Is it Convenient for You?
If the campus is convenient for you, it makes it easier to attend class, whenever that may be. If your campus is too far away, you may want to look for one closer to you.