There are a number of things to consider when choosing an online culinary course ranging from the goals of the student taking the course to the cost of the course, if any. Online culinary courses are offered by a variety of educational institutions and there are courses available for everything from developing knife skills to learning to cook specific foods. People interested in picking up culinary skills online may find it helpful to join a forum to network with people who have similar interests. Such forums can also provide useful tips and reviews on online classes.
People planning to take an online culinary course should sit down first to think about their goals. A home cook who wants to expand a repertoire will have different course needs than someone like an aspiring professional chef, a caterer, or a working chef who wants to brush up on or improve skills. The student should think about whether the course will be used on a resume and what they want to get out of the course.
Timing can be another issue. Many online courses allow people to log in and complete modules and watch demonstrations at their leisure. This can be ideal for people with crowded schedules. Other courses require students to log in for live demonstrations and chats. These students will need to be able to set specific times aside in their schedules to attend class, and this can become a hardship. This is an important consideration when evaluating online culinary courses.
Cost and reputation are important factors as well. Many basic cooking classes are available for free online, and are often supported with advertisements. Others charge a fee. Students may want to think about whether they are willing to pay, and, if so, how much they are able to spend. Reputation is important for those who want to use online courses to demonstrate professional skills. If an online culinary course has a good reputation, it can be valuable on a resume. If it does not, it can count as a mark against an applicant for a cooking position. People may want to check on reviews and ask around on forums to find out which classes look good on resumes.
A student taking an online culinary course may want to focus on a specific type of cuisine, making it important to select a school that offers courses with that cuisine. Other students may be more interested in developing general skills and learning to work with kitchen equipment, basic coursework available through most online culinary schools. A general skills online culinary course can introduce these students to basic topics and allow them to identify areas of interest for future coursework.