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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in International Baking and Pastry

Majors Overview February 3, 2014

Students will be taught the needed culinary skills to create breads, cakes, pies, and other confections.

A.A. Programs in International Baking and Pastry

Students enrolled in an Associate’s degree program in baking and pastry art are trained in the creation of quality baked goods in a restaurant or bakery setting. Hardly any school offers associate’s programs that focus purely on international baking techniques; international and American baking principles are incorporated into the coursework in many programs. Coursework typically combines classroom instruction with hands-on training imparted through laboratories. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Baking science is emphasized by programs to augment the techniques needed in order to make showpieces, confections and desserts. Students can also become adept at presenting the desserts in an aesthetic manner that patrons find attractive. Coursework additionally focuses on general, industry-related topic areas, such as nutrition, food management, food safety, and hospitality. Classes commonly include:

•Culinary arts
•Baking
•Cost control
•Bread making
•Food safety
•Food and beverage management
•Desserts
•Pastry design
•Nutrition
•Specialty cakes

Career Info

Graduates are trained to make desserts in baking settings, including cafeterias, pastry shops, hotels, restaurants and bakeries. Some common job opportunities include:

•Cake decorator
•Junior chocolatier
•Assistant pastry chef
•Baker

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Those who successfully complete an associate’s degree program can seek many entry-level jobs. However, students who pursue continued education can enroll in bachelor’s degree programs in pastry arts. Apart from learning advanced pastry arts and baking techniques, students can also participate in internship programs that will allow them to work with pastry chefs with a wealth of experience. With sufficient experience and education, graduates can aim to become bakery owners or pastry chefs.

Four voluntary certifications for pastry arts and baking professionals are offered by the American Culinary Federation. Satisfaction of certain professional and education requirements is essential to earning each credential. Entry-level pastry professionals can seek the Certified Pastry Culinarian credential and the remaining three credentials will follow after the professionals have shouldered greater responsibility on the job. The highest level of certification is the Certified Master Pastry Chef credential that is awarded to a candidate who passes an 8-day assessment.

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