Making Your Culinary Creativity More Than A Hobby: Baking and Pastry Arts Degree

Do you feel at home in the kitchen and love baking or decorating cakes? Would you like to take this passion further than a hobby and turn it into a career? If so, a degree in baking and pastry arts can provide you with the knowledge and professional credentials to make this dream a reality. Even if you have been baking for a long time, a degree can help to take your skills and creativity to the next level. Anyone can follow a recipe, but with a degree you can learn how to combine your own creativity, cooking skills and knowledge to create something extra special. So, if you are eager to turn your love of literal dough into some figurative dough, then a degree is worth serious consideration.

Baking and Pastry Arts Degree Information

Courses in baking and pastry arts are available at either diploma level, as an associate degree or as a bachelors degree. The degree options range from associate of applied science and associate of applied business to bachelor of science.

Diploma of Baking and Pastry Arts

Diploma courses in baking and pastry arts can take up to two years of full time classroom time to complete. The course content might differ depending on the institute offering the diploma, but generally include topics such as bakery fundamentals, yeast fundamentals, pastry fundamentals and business communications. The second year of this type of course tends to focus on fine pastries, artistic baking as well as customer relationship management.

Associate of Applied Business in Pastry Arts

Completing an Associate of Applied Business in Pastry Arts typically takes about two years of studying and helps to prepare students who are interested in working in the culinary industry as bakers or pastry chefs. This type of degree usually also teaches students about the technical side of baking and pastry. The curriculum might include theory of baking, pastry production and design, nutritional baking and cuisine, as well as advanced pastry and buffet design. Topics such as food service sanitation, food and beverage cost control, and principles of marketing are often also included. Students can usually also choose a pastry elective, such as artisan bread baking, chocolate and confectionery production or advanced wedding cake production as part of their course.

Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts

Students who are interested in working in the baking or pastry industry can also complete a two year Associate of Applied Science in Baking and Pastry Arts degree. This type of course offers a combination of theoretical knowledge as well as practical applications to prepare students for entry-level positions in the industry. Course topics may include food science, baking, artisan and specialty bread, petit fours and pastries, plated desserts and nutrition for foodservice. In addition to topics such as confection artistry and chocolate artistry, students may also have to complete courses in career development, public speaking and general psychology as part of their degree.

Bachelor of Science in Baking & Pastry Arts

Students who are interested in becoming an assistant pastry chef, executive pastry chef or similar positions in the industry can opt for a four year Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts degree. Major courses that tend to form part of this degree include neo-classic desserts, baking and pastry buffet presentation, tired and themed decorated cakes, advanced wedding cake design and sensory analysis in contemporary desserts.

Baking and Pastry Arts Degree FAQ

Can I Study Baking and Pastry Arts Online?

There are numerous campus based courses for baking and pastry arts, but this type of degree can also be earned via online instruction. In addition, hybrid programs are also available, which combines online instruction with classroom instruction at a nearby campus. Online degrees are available at both associate as well as bachelor level, with the latter in particular being useful for working chefs who want to enhance their previous education and experience. To complete this type of degree online students need a computer with internet connection as well as a kitchen or area where recipes can be prepared.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study Baking and Pastry Arts?

Students who are interested in studying baking and pastry arts should first and foremost have a passion for the industry. Because the focus of the industry is not just on delivering quality, but also good customer service, students should be able to deal with situations that can be stressful. Since the trade can be physically demanding, it means that you need to be in good physical condition in order to perform well. Students should be reliable, detail oriented and have a strong work ethic to succeed in this industry. The ability to follow directions, but be flexible, and adhere to proper safety and sanitation practices are also essential.

What Are My Potential Career Options After Completing This Type of Degree?

After obtaining a degree the knowledge and skills that you gain can be useful in a variety of jobs related to the baking and pastry industry. Many students go on to work at commercial bakeries while others find employment at restaurants or bistros. Catering companies, hotels and in-store bakeries also often hire people with this type of qualification. There are even opportunities at many resorts for people with a degree in baking and pastry arts. Of course, there is nothing preventing you from making use of your skills to explore entrepreneurial opportunities and becoming your own boss.

What Type of Duties Might I Have When Working In This Industry?

Your responsibilities when working in this type of industry will depend on your specialization as well as place of employment. For example, a pastry chef will have different responsibilities than a specialty cake decorator or chocolatier. If you become an entrepreneur, you’ll also have to take care of duties that differ from those of a retail baker. Your primary goal as a baker will be to prepare baked goods in accordance with your production goals for the day. A pastry chef on the other hand might have to create, as well as prepare, dessert menu items amongst other duties.

How Much Can I Potentially Earn With This Type of Degree?

Salaries for bakers differ by area, but according to the figures published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, bakers earned a 2016 median pay of $25,090 per year. In addition, the employment growth for this occupation is about as fast as the average for other occupations.

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