Traditional Education Outside the Court

Hi All,

I wanted to crowd-source some opinions on a question I've been pondering which is: What formal education should I pursue outside of my efforts in the Court and other Wine Education Organizations? 

I'm fortunate to have almost all of my Military Education Benefits except what I used for the ICC Somm Course and have been racking my brain on how to best utilize the remainder. I know that our ranks are filled with people from all walks of life and educational back rounds so I am hoping to gain some insight as to which degree fields, or even specific schools, you all have found applicable value in be it Business, Hospitality, a Culinary Education.....Thanks in advance for input and Cheers All!

  • Business
    Foreign Language
  • I am pursuing an Associates of Science Degree in Viticulture thru

    It is a consortium of USA colleges working together in viticulture, enology, and wine business courses.

    I feel this will help me a little bit in education material and differentiating myself from the crowd.

  • Depends on what you want to do - what is your ultimate goal?

    Business might be the most versatile one as it is very broad.
    If you want to stick with wine, I know there are programs that focus on Wine Business.

    You don't need a hospitality degree to be great in the hospitality field.
    A language degree might be a waste of resources, as you can learn a language in a number of ways that does not require spending credits.

    I have a hospitality degree and an economics degree. I don't feel that either of these have been instrumental/crucial in my hospitality career, they did give me a good base when I was starting though. Depending on how old you are, on the job training combined with the pursuit of theoretical knowledge(I have a ton of books, happy to share them) will probably yield better results.

    You can learn more applicable skills in a 3-6 month internship with a good hotel company than a year in the hospitality school.
    Whatever you choose - budget your time wisely and look for what makes the most sense and will provide the best return on investment.
  • A solid business background is key at the upper levels of the profession. If you ever want to know the sound of air being sucked out of a room, listen to 60 Advanced candidates flipping over the business section of the theory exam.

    Also language. Five or six of them if you can swing it. ;-) If I make it past MS, I'm spending the rest of my career learning languages.
  • Hey all thanks for the great insights. For an update, I've found a rather ambitious option that I plan to research further: the SHA-CIA Collaborative Degree Program allows a student to attain an Associates in Culinary Operations from the Culinary Institute of America then finish their Bachelor's work at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Given the caliber of the schools it's certainly a much more casual affair to discuss it than to actually be accepted but it's quite a combination of culinary skill, Hospitality (they have an F&B concentration in the Cornell program) and business acumen rolled into an intense 4-5 years. A Tier One education if ever I saw one. Ultimately not a determination of succeeding as a Sommelier but a worthy challenge nonetheless.

    Cheers All! Dream Big