With a degree from a culinary institution, a person can pursue a wide range of careers that deal with the food industry. Whether it is in the kitchen cooking up an exciting new entre or at a shareholders meeting announcing an exciting new restaurant chain, there are a number of options for those interested in pursuing the culinary arts.

For starters, there is the obvious choice of becoming a chef. Chefs enjoy a number of perks in their line of work. They are often paid well and reap a high quality of life. Because creativity is encouraged within cooking, chefs are able to express themselves through their work on a daily basis not a bad deal! Many cooks get their start in smaller restaurants after graduating from a culinary school and work their way up to more lavish restaurants in major metropolitan areas.

Then theres the other side of the culinary industry the business side. While many people attend culinary school because of their love for cooking, others attend with a larger vision of running their own restaurant or chain. This side of the industry presents an interesting hybrid of business school innovation and kitchen creativity.

Take Steve Ellis, founder of Chipotle Mexican Grill chain, as an example. Ellis graduated in 1990 from the Culinary Institute of American and after being influenced by the taquerias of San Francisco, decided to open a Mexican themed restaurant in his native Denver. With a unique business model of high quality products from companies with ethical food standards, Ellis was able to open of the most popular modern American chains.

Whether you prefer to work in the kitchen or at the front of house, the United States Department of Labor has some promising statistics for those interested in pursuing a career in the culinary arts. Because so many cooks are reaching retirement age, more and more jobs are opening up every year. Additionally, there are a significant amount of openings in sit down restaurants because of their varied menus and dining experience. As the population shifts in age, fewer people are willing to accept fast food dining as an acceptable dining out experience. This seems to be a trend across the entire country. To match this growing trend for high end food is hospitals and cafeterias have begun expanding and altering their menus to reflect the change in preference of their clientele.