Culinary arts school can prepare you to meet your goal of becoming a chef, no matter where you desire to work in the food service industry. Even the most famous cooks on television acquired their skills and their success through education and experience at a variety of culinary schools. The path they took may have varied a little from the one you'll take, but the basics were probably the same.
Culinary school leads to better job prospects
There are millions of job opportunities available for you in the food service industry, the vast majority of which are at entry-level and probably won't require you to have any type of formal education, perhaps not even a high school diploma. (Given that, they probably won't pay you very much either.) There may be a great chef here or there who climbed up from the trenches without ever attending cooking schools, but if you're just starting out, don't expect to hop right onto the gravy train to fame and fortune.
High-end culinary positions are competitive, so years of training and experience are the ingredients du jour for a career in a fashionable restaurant kitchen where the best-paying, most elite jobs can be found. Distinctive recipes, interpersonal flair, and a savvy business sense may put you on the track to culinary advancement, but an education from a culinary arts school will train you in the finer details of haute cuisine, and provide a background in restaurant and kitchen management, as well as a dash of food industry marketing.
Variety of culinary schools to choose from
If you haven't gotten a head start by piling on the relevant classes in high school, you can begin your culinary training by attending a vocational school or reputable cooking school. If your goal is to cook in an upscale venue, you may wish to pursue your formal training at a culinary school that offers associate and bachelor's degrees in the field, as this type of school may offer a wider variety of coursework and training. (Programs that offer degrees require you to have a high-school diploma to be considered for admission.)
Most professional training programs will require you to complete an apprenticeship or internship after you finish your coursework, and you may receive additional on-the-job training in job-placement programs through your school.
Cooking school can put you on path to success
Whichever route you choose, graduation from a reputable culinary arts school will give you a leg up on jobs in the field, but the role of executive chef or world-famous cooking show host will come only after a few years of experience and promotions. Advancement in the field will come more easily if you also display the ability to be a team player, take on added responsibilities, and demonstrate initiative in learning new skills.