The hands-on nature of learning pastry creation generally requires on-campus experience. As a result, online degree programs in pastry arts are not commonly available on their own. However, those who already hold an associate's degree in pastry arts may be able to find online bachelor's degree completion programs. Bachelor's degree programs may be aimed at those who intend to work in the pastry arts, or in food service in general, at the managerial level.
Chefs, head cooks, and food processing workers may not need formal education or vocational training beyond a high school diploma, but may instead learn many of their skills on the job. Apprenticeships are not uncommon for bakers. However, postsecondary education is becoming increasingly common for supervisors in the food service field. Certification is not required for food service managers, but some choose to earn credentialing to demonstrate their professionalism.
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Online Bachelor's Degree in Pastry Arts Program Overview
Students interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in pastry arts can do so online. In fact, online programs exist in such fields as culinary arts, baking arts and food service management.
Generally, students entering an online bachelor's degree program in pastry arts are required to have already completed an associate's degree in pastry arts. The online bachelor's degree programs may focus more on the managerial, marketing and legal aspects of the pastry arts world, as opposed to the actual creation of pastries. Associate's degree programs in pastry arts are not commonly available online due to the large amount of lab work and hands-on training necessary.
Program Information and Requirements
A bachelor's degree in pastry arts can usually be completed in four years, though two of those years may be covered by courses in the associate's degree program. The coursework in a bachelor's degree program in pastry arts can be completed entirely online, though some courses may require a short campus residency. Courses are usually conducted through an online learning platform, such as ulearn. Courses are asynchronous, which means that course materials can be accessed and worked on at any time as long as certain deadlines are met. Students contact and interact with instructors and peers through emails and discussion boards.
List of Common Courses
An online pastry arts bachelor's degree program includes major courses, classes in related professional studies and general studies courses. Students must also have their writing skills validated or enroll in certain English classes in order to receive the degree.
Food and Beverage Service Management
This online course examines the role that the food service industry plays within the larger field of hospitality. Students acquire skills involving human resources management, product selection, costing and pricing, menu development and accounting. Students also learn to create a successful business plan and identify a target market based on current trends.
Precise methods for creating marketing strategies for a hospitality-related enterprise are identified in this distance learning class. Students learn to structure and budget for a marketing plan using various forms of media advertising. Topical marketing issues related to the hospitality industry are also covered using case studies.
The process of extracting metabolic energy from food compounds such as proteins, fats and carbs is studied in great detail in this class. An emphasis is placed on methods for balancing nutrients and the problems resulting from being deficient in certain nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are also examined, as well as how too much of certain vitamins and minerals can be harmful.
Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in pastry arts can find employment as a manager of a restaurant or bakery, food preparation and serving supervisor, chef, head cook or baker. Many restaurant or bakery managers are also the owners of the establishment.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that as of May 2016, chefs and head cooks earned a median annual salary of $43,180, while bakers earned a median of $25,090 per year. Food service managers earned a higher median salary of $50,820 for the same reporting period (www.bls.gov).
The BLS also reports that these professions will see an increase in job opportunities, but the rate of growth is only faster than average for chefs and head cooks, with an expected increase of 9% from 2014-2024. During the same decade, bakers will see an average job growth at 7%, while food service manager positions will increase by 5%, according to the BLS.
Online degree programs for pastry arts are relatively rare; however, there are online and blended bachelor's degree programs available in some places for those who already have an associate's degree. Those possessing a bachelor's degree in pastry arts or a related field, like culinary arts or food service management, often go on to work as chefs, head cooks, bakers, or as managers of restaurants and bakeries.