What times are classes offered?
Currently, Wine Technology classes are offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 6:00pm - 9:30pm and these classes are designed with the intent of the student obtaining both the Beverage Management and Wine Business Certificates.
The primary methodology for Wine Technology classes is face-to-face instruction with some web-enhancement. Classes are a blend of lecture, experiential learning exercises and labs ("labs" meaning formalized wine and beverage tasting/assessment). The average class size is approximately 6 - 8 students.
Can the program be taken part-time?
Yes, and in fact the current design for both the Beverage Management and Wine Business Certificates is centered around part-time enrollment. Students can complete the certificates at any pace, and in any combination and the only prerequisite is that the student be at least 21 years of age so that they may participate in the labs (see above). There is a suggested course sequence included in the Academic Plan.
What kinds of jobs can one get?
The Wine Industry, like many others, is filled with various-sized businesses that range from small, independent operators (1-5 employees) to large, multi-national corporations (with thousands of employees). Additionally, in the United States, the employers in the wine business are usually separated into three main groups: "Producers" (e.g. Wineries & Importers); "Wholesaler/Distributors"; and "Retailers" (Wine Shops/Restaurants/Wine Bars/& Tasting Rooms are included in this group). Typically, more "wine knowledge" and less professional experience is needed for employment with smaller businesses while more professional experience and less "wine knowledge" (although this is variable) is needed for larger businesses - regardless of the "group" associated with any of these businesses. Of course, the more "wine knowledge" and wine industry-related professional experience the job candidate has, the better. Lastly, please note: Many of the employment opportunities within the Wine Industry require the employee to be able to lift repeatedly a full case of wine which is usually 40 pounds.
How do the Wine Technology Certificates (Wine Business & Beverage Management) apply to potential employment opportunities in the wine industry?
LWTech's Wine Technology Certificates are intended to provide a well-rounded base of knowledge and experience upon which the student can build a successful career in multiple areas of the wine industry. The Wine Business Certificate is designed for those students interested in pursuing various careers in the wine retail, wholesale, and production industries while the Beverage Management Certificate is designed for those students interested in pursuing careers as sommeliers, restaurant beverage managers, and/or winery tasting room managers. Given the artisanal/hierarchical /apprentice-based/and proprietary nature of the wine business, students should expect initially to gain employment at an entry or intermediate level in the above mentioned fields of employment.
What is the starting salary?
Employment opportunities vary from unpaid internships to full-time employment, salary being dependent upon various factors such as: health of business (retail; sommelier; restaurant beverage manager); sales commission rates (retail; wholesale; winery tasting room manager); market expansion (local/national/international) and business capitalization (all fields). Naturally, salary is also influenced by previous work experience either in the Wine Industry or related fields such as: outside/inside sales & marketing; shipping & warehousing; importing; event planning; etc.
What would be job options with only a Cert of Proficiency?
Are internships required?
There are no internships required.
Prepared/Successful Students in this program have...
... a well-developed curiosity about wine and the various facets of the wine business. Life-long learning is expected and is often accomplished on one's own using one's own resources: Every vintage brings something new to the industry, just as there are always new producers to enjoy and new methods of selling and marketing to be explored. Additionally, successful students display an open mind, have an entrepreneurial spirit, are creative in their approach to analysis and problem-solving and utilize excellent communication skills. It is no longer enough to simply "build it and they will come", (whether in regards to making wine, building a portfolio to sell, and/or establishing a "brick and mortar"/online retail presence), in order to be successful. Today's wine business competition is global in nature and requires participants to have (and develop) a wide-range of skills and knowledge in order to exceed expectations.
What class-supplies, tools, uniforms needed?
Students should be prepared to take various notes (lecture, wine-tasting, etc.) and need to bring whatever supplies (pen, paper, computer, etc.) they feel most comfortable using in order to do so. Additionally, a working knowledge of computers, the Microsoft Office Suite of programs (MS Word; MS Excel; MS PowerPoint; Outlook) or their equivalent, and various internet and social media applications is recommended, but not required. Lastly, beginning in the '13 Fall Quarter, "CANVAS", LWTech's primary instructor/ student communication computer platform will be used in all Wine Technology classes. Therefore, students will need access to the internet either through LWTech's on-campus connectivity, public internet access, and/or through their own internet providers.
What is the program cost?
Do I need health insurance?
Are the Wine Technology Certificates and/or their respective classes transferable?
No, not at this time.
What if a student has criminal record? Can that student get hired in the industry?
This depends upon the company and the employment opportunity in question. Very often, however, a criminal record will impede employment in the wine industry.
What does the future hold for the LWTech Wine Technology Department?
Like all educational opportunities at LWTech, the program will grow in the direction that industry demands and coursework students need. LWTech 's responds to the community and provides life-long learning.