Online Colleges for Hospitality & Culinary

"Leave the shower curtain on the inside of the tub." Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels, supposedly said this from his deathbed, after being asked for a few last wise words. Besides being funny, Hilton's line indicates the extent to which details matter if you're in the hospitality business. Whether you're working for a hotel, restaurant or event planning business, your job is to treat your customers like esteemed guests, making them feel cared for by anticipating and meeting some of their most basic needs, such as for food and shelter.

Hospitality & Culinary Arts Degree Programs and Careers

It's obvious why on-the-job training is crucial in the culinary arts: to learn how to wield a knife, you have to practice using it in the kitchen. But getting formal training at one of the culinary arts colleges can give you the edge you need to land that kitchen job. Associate degree programs teach you the basics of food preparation and presentation, while bachelor's degree programs include courses in advanced techniques.

In the hotel world, more and more employers prefer hiring college graduates for management jobs. Online degree programs in hospitality allow you to get essential on-the-job experience while earning the credential necessary for advancement. Working toward degrees like the Bachelor of Science in Hospitality or the Associate of Arts in Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, you can take classes in everything from basic customer service to accounting practices and relevant legal issues.

Once you've earned your degree, you'll be in great shape to land a hospitality & culinary arts job, such as chef or head cook, lodging manager, or food service manager. In 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lodging managers earned $53,500 annually, while food service managers earned $51,400.

Why Go to an Online College for Hospitality or Culinary Arts?

Online classes can offer students the flexibility to juggle school work with their personal lives or provide a learning environment that they feel more comfortable with. Below is one students story as to why they decided to take online classes to pursue their dream of working in the hospitality and travel industry.

"A college degree is something so much more that a piece of paper. It is someone's willingness to commit to bettering their life. Each person has their own unique story as to why they are attending school and what finally pushed them to do so. For me, it took one life jarring incident to get serious. Now, I have not had an easy go at life. I spent most of my childhood moving from one place to the next, every six months or so. My mother and I were in and out of campgrounds, motels, and the homes of friends. My childhood was anything but stable and most of that was my mothers' inability to hold a job.

Now, there is something to be said about my mom. She was a beauty that many did not understand. She was put on this Earth as a glimmering light and loved every soul she met. Her goal was to bring people back to their roots and to find their spirit. My mom felt people had lost their way and wanted so desperately to bring them back to the things that were truly important in life; God's word, family, and a healthy soul. My mom was quite the entrepreneur and always had some grandiose plan up her sleeve. She had so many ideas; so many stories that she wanted to present to every person that would listen. However, those plans took priority over our financial situation and it would get put on the back burner. We spent many years severely impoverished and there were countless times that I was unsure of how we were going to eat. For that matter, how we were going to survive.

I learned many things through my mothers' trials and tribulations. For one, I wanted to be a polar opposite of her. I craved a steady job and income. I did not want to have to worry about finances, day in and day out. I've also learned the importance of a degree and just how much farther in life that can get you. My mom had a brilliant mind and was more knowledgeable than most. Unfortunately, she did not have that one piece of paper that enables so many others to get great jobs; a college degree.  However, I did not have the realization as to how much knowledge my mother had passed on to me until, October 21, 2012.

On that day, my mother passed away with no one by her side. This was after a very long bout with Ovarian Cancer. That day I was going to go and see here in the morning before going in to work, but I over slept and was not able to make it. So, I was going to see her when I got off of work at 4:00pm. At 3:20pm I received a phone call that my mother had passed away at 3:16pm very suddenly. There is a verse from the New International Version (NIV) Bible of John 3:16, that my mother loved dearly and it reads as followed, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal lifeĀ." This one small line from scripture was the biggest belief of my mothers. Knowing that 3:16 was her time of death, assured me that she is in God's arms now and she shall have no more suffering. She is the reason I am going back to school. She is the reason I me and I am very proud to call her my mom.

When I elected to go back to school, I knew I was not going to be able to go to a conventional college. So, I chose the University of Phoenix. This allows me to be able to attend school full time and to be able to provide the finances needed in this society. I have been a chef for eight years and I know that it is time to discover a new outlet. So, with the help of the University of Phoenix, I am pursuing a degree in Business Management with an emphasis on Tourism and Hospitality. I am someone with a lot of drive and a very intense work ethic. There is nothing in life I cannot concur and a college education is going to be one of my biggest assets. Before my mother passed away, my goal was to be anything but her. Now, my goal is to be the best rendition of the child she raised."

- Kallie (Colorado)

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