Preference if it is better to have a certificate or as degree when applying for jobs

Jul 3, 2018
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I am trying to decide wether to go for an AS degree in baking/pastry or to go to a certificate program. Does anyone have any advice for me?
Jun 22, 2017
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I am trying to decide wether to go for an AS degree in baking/pastry or to go to a certificate program. Does anyone have any advice for me?

Hello Jolene, welcome to the forum.

It might help to understand the difference between a certificate and a degree.

A certificate is just the culinary training—it so focus is the ingredients, the science, The preparation, the baking, the serving, the storing.

A degree is both culinary and business management training. In a degree program you’re going to complete all of the culinary components in addition to courses on topics like product development, product costing, kitchen management, principles of the hospitality industry.

It’s not to say one is better than the other. It’s about where you’re focuses. It’s also about the specific school for that specific training. The school you choose is extremely important. Let’s say you wanted to focus on bread and Viennoiseries. If you attended the San Francisco Baking Institute (SFBI) you would not be able to earn a degree; since they are not accredited they do not have a degree program. SFBI is purely culinary training.

Yet, having SFBI on your resume is like having an Ivy League school listed on your resume. SFBI founder Michel Suas has an international reputation as both a master baker and instructor. The who’s who’s of bakeries in the United States and restaurants have hired Suas as a consultant to set up their bakery operations. Suas is that good. Bakeries such as Acme Bread, Grace Baking, and Thomas Keller have hired Suas to set up their bakeries. The US team for the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie trained at Suas’ SFBI. So students coming out of his program don’t need a degree to find their way into the top restaurants and bakeries in the United States.

If you live or want to live in a city with an internationally known food economy, like San Francisco, London, Paris, Tokyo, or Palermo, then a degree from an internationally recognized culinary school will probably get you farther than a certificate. Such areas have very competitive job markets, so the eligible labor pool will have degrees.

Outside of these food economies, a certificate is probably fine. Even if you focus specifically on the culinary aspects, and not train for the management side of the bakery, you’ll end up learning some of the business aspects as part of your daily work.
Mar 26, 2013
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Welcome to the forum! :)

I have no experience with the US educational system I'm afraid, but I guess it depends on what you are looking to do with the qualification. Could you tell us more about your plans?

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