Many colleges are starting to offer food service and hospitality certificate or diploma programs, aimed at individuals who would like to make a career out of working in the hospitality industry. Because these programs are becoming more and more popular, many people seeking a career in the hospitality industry believe that they must attend one of these programs in order to be successful. College level hospitality and food service certificates and diplomas can certainly provide a good path into a hospitality career; however, many people feel as though a simple food safety training course, done at your own pace, will help you to achieve the same results, but in a much shorter period of time. So what should you do as an aspiring restaurant manager? Should you go to college for a hospitality diploma, or should you complete a short course on food safety?
Unfortunately, there really is now easy answer. It depends on what you want to get out of your education. College programs can be wonderful – because most of these programs are one or two years long, you have a great deal of time to really take in information about the industry. You will also have the opportunity to take classes from industry experts, and learn about various roles and possibilities within the industry. You will likely be set up with an internship or practicum as well, helping you to get your foot in the door in the hospitality industry. A food safety training course, on the other hand, will give you a more hands-on approach to food safety education. A food safety training course will also allow you to study while you still maintain a full-time job, and can usually be done on evenings, weekends, or during your off-hours, with the course being able to be completed 100% online. This level of flexibility will make the course easier to take. Another advantage to taking a food safety course is that you can retake the course in following years to update your education. This looks really good on a resumé and will help you to stay current within your industry.
Of course, both types of training have their disadvantages as well. A college diploma program in hospitality management takes a long time to obtain and will contain a great deal of theoretical knowledge, which might not always be useful in the real world. The information you obtain in a college program will eventually become outdated as well, so there is a good chance that you will have to complete a food safety training course to upgrade anyway. Food safety training courses also have their disadvantages. You will not receive credits that are transferrable to another program, and the course will be very specific to food safety, not really covering any other aspect of the industry.
Before you decide between a hospitality management diploma from a college and a basic food safety training course from a company like ours (CFT International Pty Ltd), you must decide what you want out of your education. Whatever you decide, you will be well on your way to a rewarding career in the hospitality industry.