?Becoming a baking and pastry professional can lead you down a number of different avenues. You can work at a small shop or a large hotel or commercial production facility. You can also specialize or be a generalist, utilizing a wide range of baking and pastry skills. In time, you skills and expertise may become specialized for a niche market. The baking profession is one of the oldest and has a rich history and tradition. Of course, much of it comes from France and Italy, but the rest of the world has been producing baked goods for ages. If you are looking to become a part of this fine tradition there are many paths you can take. You can have your own small bakery, or do research and development for large multinational food corporations. When you look at a beautiful cake, or elaborate pastry, you probably could never imagine all that went into creating it. Sure, there is the natural talent of the chef, but there is also lots of training, sometimes years of learning techniques that elevate a food lover to the level of master. Make no mistake, although they are doing what they love, this is hard work, and they have paid their dues in years of schooling to get where they are. Baking and pastry schools are areas of a culinary arts education which encompass many different aspects of creating these delicacies. These programs, which can result in an Associates, Bachelors Degree, as well as certificates, offer extensive training in areas such as nutrition and food science, plating and presentation, and cake decorating. Many courses offer hands on experiences in simulated kitchens, giving students a realistic experience of a working kitchen. Other experiences can include competitions among students on certain projects and techniques. At a baking school, instructors usually prepare their students for work in restaurants, bakeries, hotels and catering services throughout the world. In addition to the culinary side, students who have their sights set upon opening their own business will have the benefit of management courses as part of their curriculum. For those that want to be bakers these schools will provide you with courses to qualify you for a job as a baker. This job entails much more than baking bread such as; making pastries, pies and other delicious pastry and bread products. With a baking qualification behind you it is possible to get a job anywhere in the world! While almost every community college offers baking and pastry courses there are some world class pastry schools that will give you a great boost to your career. Le Cordon Bleu is the French culinary school with a world renowned pastry chef degree. Some of the most famous chefs have come from this school including Americas own iron chef Mario Batali. Read about international study programs, and also read about baking and pastry arts and travel and tourism courses.