The coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone and this includes the world of pastry arts. In the past, students were used to going to physical classrooms, accessing some of the best equipment in the world, and learning from some of the brightest, most experienced minds. Even though this is still possible, the format of this education is a bit different.
The Pandemic Is Making an Existing Problem Worse
Unfortunately, enrollment in pastry arts and culinary programs has been dropping steadily for several years. According to information published by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), close to 17,000 degrees across all culinary paths were awarded in 2017. This represents a drop of more than 8,000 degrees from just five years prior. One of the biggest reasons for this drop has been the rising cost of culinary education and, sadly, the pandemic is only making these problems worse. For many students, they are concerned that they might not be able to get a job in the restaurant field after they graduate, particularly due to the impact of the pandemic on the restaurant and pastry industry, which may make it hard to pay back their loans.
Some Pastry Arts Programs Are Closing
Due to the drop in enrollment, some pastry arts programs are closing. For example, the Rhode Island campus of Johnson & Wales, which offers numerous pastry arts programs all over the country, recently announced they were closing down. They are far from the only one. The Institute of Culinary Education also closed its New York City and Los Angeles campuses due to the pandemic.
Virtual and Master Class Options Are Available
Now, training has gone virtual. Even though students might not have a teacher looking over the shoulder, there are still fantastic options available. For example, renowned pastry chef Dominique Ansel is teaching MasterClass lessons regarding pastry arts. There are numerous opportunities available for students to learn from some of the best chefs in the world via MasterClass programs.
There are also virtual pastry arts programs available, such as Escoffier and Rouxbe, which provide outstanding training options for students interested in pastry arts. Escoffier provides an affordable educational program with professional chef educators and lifetime career support services. Rouxbe provides a comprehensive educational package that includes everything from the basics to advanced decorating skills. Even though students will have to adjust to a new educational environment, there are still bountiful career opportunities available in pastry arts as the economy continues to rebound.