Culinary Arts can be a very exciting career, but before deciding on furthering your education you may want to step back and consider exactly what it is that you want to do in the food industry. Many job opportunities don’t necessary require an education pass high school or an equivalent diploma. Short order cooks, fry cooks and even food preps often simply require on the job training. It is usually chefs, nutritionists, food managers, and those who truly envision food preparation as a form of art who will need to further their education into culinary arts.A degree in culinary arts can usually be obtained in two years or less. The first part is obtaining your culinary chef certification and from there you can get your AOS degree. (Associate of Occupational Studies) Those who get the culinary chef certification but not their AOS degree are more often than not limiting themselves to being a sous-chef at best. It is with the AOS degree that you open the doors to so many carrier paths. On-line degrees are not recommended for culinary arts as working with foods is more of a hands on task. It’s important to be able to see, smell and taste as you are learning. A good palate is very often a chef’s best friend.The nice thing about obtaining a degree in culinary arts is that you aren’t limiting yourself to only being a chef. If you’ve gotten your degree and started working in a five star restaurant, what happens if you find cooking simply isn’t for you? There are a variety of other career paths that you can choose from! You can work in restaurant management, as a nutritionist, you can teach others the art of cooking, you could become a food critic for newspapers and magazines, and you could even become a food stylist and photograph all that yummy goodness you see in magazines!There may be some of you who know you aren’t interested in becoming a chef or want any type of career where food is involved. Maybe you want to learn to cook different meals for your family or learn how to incorporate more nutritious food into your daily menu. We don’t all need to want to become a chef in order to want to cook our family good nutritious meals they will enjoy. There are also a wide variety of ways for you to learn as well. You can find a local cooking class, recipe swaps, even cooking school getaways for you and your spouse.We are living in a time where chefs are no longer tucked back away in a kitchen never to be seen. Chefs are, in fact, more recognized today than ever. Just recently one of the contestants from Hell’s Kitchen moved into a neighboring town where I live. Overnight he has made what once was a place where only the young went to enjoy their spirits a restaurant that has people waiting in lines to grab a table. If cooking is your passion, furthering your education is the key to success. Aim high and enjoy every bite.