For some men and women, cooking is just a hobby. But for some, this hobby can become a vocation. Today, being a chef is in vogue. You can make a lot of money, more so if you end up as a famous celebrity chef with a television show of your own. So if you are thinking of becoming a chef, or a hotel or restaurant manager, the best route to take would be through a culinary arts school. There are a variety of diplomas and degrees available to help you achieve your dream.

* Diplomas: These offer the basic skills you will need to get a job in the culinary industry. Of course, you will have to start at the bottom but if you are good at what you do, you can get yourself noticed and move up the “food” chain, as it were. The advantage is that that you can earn a diploma in under a year. Diplomas are offered by most top-level schools so the status that comes with being associated with the school helps when you go job-hunting.

* Associate Degree: An associate degree takes two years to finish. It is equivalent to a formal college degree and can be used to pursue a Bachelor’s or even a Master’s degree. Besides, it broadens your basic skills as it includes an internship in a restaurant, so this can help you find higher paying jobs.

* Bachelor’s degree: This is a formal four-year degree that packs together a culinary arts course with a compulsory Liberal Arts course. So, while your major will be culinary arts, you will also have to study traditional arts courses. This helps in getting your career off to a quick start when you actually get a job because by then you will have experience in handling and running a kitchen. This degree also opens up the doorway for you move into administrative and financial sides of the industry.

* Masters degree: You might want to pursue your Masters degree right after your bachelor’s, which would mean another one to two years of studying. As a Masters is based more on academics and theory, many students first try to get some hands-on experience before making the decision to move into management.

So, if you are looking to make a career out of cooking and become a chef, a hotel or restaurant manager, you should look to pursue one of the many diplomas and degrees offered by culinary schools that will help you make an informed decision.