Nebraska Colleges Offering Culinary Education

Right in the heart of America is the heart of our diet: corn. Lots and lots of it. But Nebraska is known for more than its corn. And corn won’t be the only thing growing: the National Restaurant Association predicts restaurant jobs will increase by about 9 percent over the next 10 years. So aspiring chefs should take advantage of this time to start their culinary studies by choosing from the selection of programs across the state.

Deciding on a school

Keep in mind some key elements when you start evaluating culinary programs. Most importantly, a quality culinary program should have a quality kitchen. Make sure the training kitchen is fully stocked and equipped and is run by students. Many programs will also sponsor a student-run restaurant or public event such as gourmet-dinner nights. These will provide valuable training for students. Instructors should be experience or should be culinary professionals, themselves. And the program should provide support for job placement or counseling, as well as opportunities for internships or apprenticeships.

Admissions to culinary schools are typically open – meaning that students are only required to have a high-school diploma or GED, plus some basic academics. But if you decide on a school that is more competitive, you may be asked to undergo testing to prove your basic kitchen knowledge. Work experience and training through attendance at workshops or seminars can also help your application.

Downtown Omaha, Nebraska Skyline.

Completing your studies

There are many options for finishing your culinary degree in less time than a traditional degree. Typical programs offer an associate’s degree and can be finished in about two years or less. Some schools offer options for certificates or diplomas that can be finished in about a year or less. Accelerated programs, night classes and online programs offer more flexibility for working adults.

The Internet can teach you anything these days, but with online programs, you can be sure that you are getting a trusted education. Video instruction is available in some culinary programs. In other cases, online classes are offered to support previous kitchen work to finish your degree. More options are available for those interested in management, as many restaurant or hospitality management degrees can be completed exclusively online.

Starting your career

Graduates are likely to find a job they love in any of the thousands of restaurants, resorts, schools, and hotels in Nebraska. Typical food industry salaries in Nebraska range according to position, city, and experience. A waiter/waitress will earn an annual average salary of $25,670; a Registered Dietitian earns $54,940; a first-line supervisor will earn about $31,430; a head chef will earn approximately $44,270; and a restaurant cook earns an average salary of around $29,140.

2019 wage data sourced from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. Current wage conditions in your area may vary.

You may be able to jump a few rungs if you meet and please the right people. Networking is crucial to any career path. Join professional networks such as the Nebraska Restaurant Association to meet industry professionals and to gain access to industry events and insider job listings. Attending local food and wine festivals will also be beneficial to meeting industry professionals, including local celebrity chefs. While you’re there, you can enter a few cooking competitions and start impressing future employers.

Campus-based programs

Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College
P.O. Box 3777
Omaha, NE 68103-0777
Culinary Arts
Chef’s Apprenticeship
Baking and Pastry
Culinary Management
Food and Beverage Transfer
Lodging, Convention and Meeting Planning Transfer
Small Business Practices in Hospitality
CAHM, ACF accredited

Southeast Community College Area
8800 O Street
Lincoln, NE 68520-1299
Foodservice Management
Culinary Arts
HLC accredited

University of Nebraska at Kearney
905 W. 25th St.
Kearney, NE 68849
Food Science
NCACS accredited

University of Nebraska at Lincoln
14th and R Streets
Lincoln, NE 68588
Culinary Science
Food Science and Technology
Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management
NCACS accredited

Online programs

American Culinary Federation
The ACF has over 200 chapters in the United States; its main campus is located in Florida
180 Center Place Way
St. Augustine, FL
Continuing Education
Chef Certification
Chef Educators
Food Safety Certification
ACFEFAC Accredited

The Art Institutes of Pittsburgh – Online Division
The Ai has over 40 campus locations across North America, plus this online campus
420 Blvd of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA
Hotel and Restaurant Management
Culinary Management
MSCHE Accredited

Ashworth College
430 Technology Pkwy
Norcross, GA
Professional Gourmet Cooking and Catering
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC Accredited

DeVry University
This University has 90 campus locations in 26 different states
One Tower Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Hospitality Management
HLC Accredited

eCornell is an online program and subsidiary of Cornell University, located in New York
950 Danby Road, Suite 150
Ithaca, NY
Leadership and Strategic Management
Project Leadership and Systems Design
Financial Management
Management Essentials
Human Resources Management
Hospitality and Foodservice Management
Certificate in plant-based nutrition
HRCI and PMI Approved

Johnson and Wales University
JWU has campuses in Providence, Charlotte, and North Miami; its largest campus is in Rhode Island
8 Abbott Park Place, Providence, RI 02903
Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management
Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
NEASC Accredited

New England Culinary Institute
NECI has two campuses in Vermont; its main campus is in Montpelier
56 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
Hospitality and Restaurant Management
ACCSC Accredited

Penn Foster Career School
925 Oak Street
Scranton, PA 18515
Hotel and Restaurant Management
DETC & CHEA Accredited

Sullivan University
SU has three campuses in Louisville, Lexington and Fort Knox. The main campus for its Global e-Learning program is located in Louisville
2100 Gardiner Lane
Louisville, Kentucky 40205
Beverage Management
CCSACS & ACF Accredited

University of Phoenix
This University has campuses in over 40 states, and two locations in Canada
4602 East Elwood Street
Phoenix, AZ
Hospitality, Travel and Tourism
HLC Accredited

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One Response to “Nebraska Colleges Offering Culinary Education”

  1. Indraja Chatterjee Says:

    I would want to know regarding the programmes held. I have done till 11th grade and I couldn’t pursue more due to health issues. Kindly let me know regarding the degree. I am interested in one. Thank you.

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