Why do students decide to study culinary arts?: A case study of culinary arts students in the School of Hospitality at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Md. Sharif, Mohd. Shazali
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Culinary education has evolved over the decades in an effort to meet the needs of the hospitality industry work force. This dissertation is a research based case study which was designed to investigate the factors that influence school leavers to enrol unto the culinary arts programmes for their tertiary education at the School of Hospitality at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Auckland New Zealand. The culinary arts offer a wide variety of practices, for instance, butcher work, grade manger, pastry arts, bakery, saucier, entremettiere and sculpture are among popular programmes in the United States tertiary institutions. There has been a positive development in culinary education and demand for culinary practitioners in New Zealand, especially since the growth of the tourism industry, large sporting events and the popularity of New Zealand as a location for film production. The research objective for this study was to identify the factors that influence students in advancing their education in culinary education. First year students studying culinary arts courses at AUT were the sample for this case study. A questionnaire provided the primary method of data collection. The questionnaire was adopted from previous research conducted by Paul A Whitelaw (a hospitality researcher) from Victoria University, Australia. The findings indicated that family members do influence an individual’s career choice, compared with friends who were found to have had no influence on an individual’s career choice. Friendship relationships were more relevant and reliable with regard to the sharing or exchanging of information. Furthermore, it was discovered that the advancement of information technology (website and internet services) is an important source of information that can contribute to one’s career choice. Due to the advancement of information technology, career information is readily available about the nature of work and career pathways within a profession. It is hoped that the findings will provide valuable information for the School of Hospitality administration and the local community about students’ preference and trends regarding enrolment unto the culinary programmes.