Success in the cake decorating industry requires creativity, artistic acumen and hard work. Cake decorators work for bakeries and caterers. Cake decorating also combines well with the entrepreneurial spirit, and many people open their own bakery or start a freelance business. While apprenticing is one way to gain experience, many professionals in the field obtain a degree or certificate in the culinary arts. Scholarships are available to fund such educational programs.
International Cake Exploration Societé
Established in 1976, the International Cake Exploration Societé is a networking and education resource for cake decorators around the world. The organization offers its own certification program in the sugar arts, local cake shows and classes and annual scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to promising cake decorators looking to further their education and demonstrate financial need to pay for classes. Funds are used to pay tuition and fees for classes on the ICES approved teacher list. Recipients must conduct a demonstration at an ICES event after the class is completed.
State Fair Competitions
State fairs are time-honored traditions in many parts of the United States. In addition to rides, concerts and exhibitions, some fairs offer cooking and baking competitions awarding prizes to best recipes or presentations. The State Fair of Virginia at the Meadow administers the State Fair of Virginia Scholarship Program. Students can earn scholarships through competitions including cake decorating. Winners of competition scholarships are eligible to apply for the fair's endowed scholarship program. Scholarships are held in an interest-bearing account and paid directly to the post-secondary institution. Students must use the scholarship before their 24th birthday.
Local Bakery Associations
Regional organizations that support the baking industry or food service professionals can be a funding resource. The United Midwest Bakery Association supports businesses and individuals in the industry in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. The association is part of the larger national network Retail Bakers Association. The United Midwest Bakery Association administers the Upper Midwest Bakery Association Scholarship Program. The award is granted to four students annually to help fund post-secondary education. Students must be the dependents of bakery owners or employees or attending a culinary institute or baking school with the intentions of working in the baking industry or other food service career after graduation.
Culinary and Baking School Administered Scholarships
Many culinary and baking schools offer their own scholarships and financial aid programs to attract qualified students. Contact the school's financial aid department for specific information. The French Culinary Institute offers training programs in New York and California. The school awards scholarships based on location and specialization interest. The Friends of the French Culinary Institute awards a $20,000 scholarship as of 2011 to students attending FCI's culinary or pastry program in New York. Classes at the school include cake design.
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- Cake Decorating Art: Jobs in Cake Decorating
- Cake Decorating Art: Career Opportunities in the Pastry Business
- Cake Decorating Art: A Short History of Cake Decorating
- International Cake Exploration Societé: Teachers and Scholarships
- International Cake Exploration Societé: Scholarship Application Form
- State Fair of Virginia at the Meadow: Scholarships
- Upper Midwest Bakery Association: Scholarship
- The French Culinary Institute: The Friends of The FCI Scholarship