And when we say beer program, we’re not talking about your extracurricular activities—that’s YOUR business (wink wink). OUR business is helping you find the perfect educational program to get you started toward your desired career path.
When it comes to the beer industry, there are some very distinct options within different tracks. There are opportunities at small, craft breweries, at huge conglomerates and everything in between. And within each of those, there are many moving parts. The moving parts of your program should fit together to provide you with the very best tools, skills and knowledge to eventually embark on a in beer that jibes with your interests.
Fortunately, there’s a huge wealth of programs to choose from around the US, and even the world. What this can also mean, however, is that pinpointing the best-fit program can be more complicated than simply pointing at a map.
When deciding where to spend your undergraduate (and possibly graduate) years, it’s important to do your due diligence and collect information about each school’s programs, track records, specialties, technologies and culture around the beer industry.
And a good place to start is the Admissions Office.
Each school will have its own system for getting you in touch with the information you need, and Admissions can get you there. Whether you want to speak with an instructor about course topics, a student about their experience, or a graduate about their career path, each school’s Admissions Office is equipped to connect you with the best-fit person on your list.
Once you do get in touch, it’ll behoove you to have a set of questions ready. Pro tip: if you ask the same questions of each university or program, you’ll have an easy time comparing the answers. Additionally, it’s a good idea to prepare ahead so you know you’re really getting the useful information that’s going to help you make your big decision.
6 Questions to Ask When Interviewing at a Beer School or Program
- Which concentrations does the program offer?
The beer industry has a huge gamut of career tracks with multiple roles within each. It’s important to clarify which specific tracks each program offers to make sure they align with your passions and interests. Alternatively, you might learn about a new possibility you never heard of before!
Concentrations within the beer industry might include:
- Agriculture (hops and malt)
- Brewery operations
- Brewing science
- Business and hospitality
- Consumer merchandising/retail management
- Food and beverage industry, science, processing
- Marketing and public relations for the beer industry
- Tourism and hospitality industry
- What is your program’s completion rate?
It’s a good number to know.
And not only is this a good question to determine the success rates for students, it will also likely launch a conversation about the merits and challenges of the program. Are rates low because students move on to other programs? Are they high because of 4-year scholarship opportunities? Dive a little deeper into the reasons behind a program’s graduation rate to get a bigger-picture story.
- What are your program’s Superpowers?
AKA, what makes it special? Do they possess…
- Stellar graduation rates?
- A super-star faculty?
- High-end computer labs and technology?
- Award-winning brews?
Give each school a chance to brag and wow you with what makes them unique. You might learn something new and surprising that you didn’t expect, or they could tell you exactly what you want to hear. Either way, it’s a good way to compare and contrast each school’s special sauce.
- What are some ways that students work collaboratively and alone?
Whether you’re a lone wolf or team player, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to workload and project management. Getting examples of group projects is a great way to visualize where you might fit in, and where your strengths can shine.
- What about internship opportunities for students?
Getting first-hand experience in the industry can be crucial to determine your greatest interests, develop your resume and make connections. Ask about the program’s professional partners and internships that students have landed in the past. Give them a chance to get you excited about your job and learning opportunities.
- What are grads doing now?
Although you may have an idea what you’d like to do with your degree or certificate, it’s good to know if there are parallels between what you want to do and what other graduates have done! Get a sense for industries and businesses that are hiring out of the program and what your job outlook might be after graduation. You can also get ideas for new career tracks that you didn’t even know about!
Next Step: Get In Touch With Schools
When you’re ready, we have a huge directory of brewing schools that are ready to talk with you. By reaching out via MajoringInBeer.com, you know you’ll be directed to the best-fit person at each school or university who can answer your questions or point you in the right direction. Whether you’re early in your search or ready to take the big enrollment leap, it’s a great place to start and tally up the information you need.