Tertiary level - Professional education

In the academic year of 2019/20, almost 61 600 students were recorded in professional education. The majority (57%) were at colleges of higher education, 37% were preparing for a federal or an advanced professional examination and 6% were following a training course not governed by the VEPTA.

Students in professional education, change since 2000/01
  2000/01 2005/06 2010/11 2015/16 2019/20
Total 38 674 38 151 51 280 56 626 61 566
  Female (%) 43.1 43.6 44.4 43.6 44.8
  Foreign (%) 9.4 10.2 14.5 11.8 12.3
4 663  934 . . .
  Female (%) 72.3 68.2 . . .
  Foreign (%) 5.3 8.8 . . .
2 222  795 . . .
  Female (%) 52.9 65.9 . . .
  Foreign (%) 6.3 3.3 . . .
9 213 10 173 21 867 29 748 35 074
  Female (%) 26.6 28.7 45.5 46.7 47.7
  Foreign (%) 10.7 10.9 11.7 12.1 13.1
9 037 11 829 16 421 18 900 18 939
  Female (%) 38.5 40.2 38.7 36.9 37.3
  Foreign (%) 9.2 7.6 9.1 10.5 10.5
5 427 4 355 4 271 3 615 3 631
  Female (%) 25.3 36 32.5 25.5 34.4
  Foreign (%) 8 6.9 8.5 10.6 9.3
8 112 10 065 8 721 4 363 3 922
  Female (%) 59.5 61.9 58.3 66.1 63.9
  Foreign (%) 12.5 14.6 34.7 16 16.9
1 Students are not completely surveyed because the preparations to federal exams are not formally regulated. They often take place in modular trainings, which are only surveyed if the single module corresponds to at least half a school-year (full time equivalent).
Source: FSO – Statistics on pupils and students (SDL)
Data as of: February 2021

Professional education allows people who have completed upper secondary education to deepen or widen their knowledge. Professional education consists of several study paths: colleges of higher education, preparation for federal or advanced federal professional examinations governed by the Vocational and Professional Education and Training Act (VPETA) and professional education courses not regulated by this act.
Numbers attending professional education have risen by 59% since 2000/01, despite the transfer of some training courses to higher education institutes following the creation of the universities of applied sciences.

During the academic year 2019/20, the most popular training sectors for students in professional education was Management and administration (16%). This was followed by the fields Nursing and Midwifery (13%) and Building and civil engineering (8%).

Related topics

On this topic

Colleges of higher education

Professional education and training college students according to various dimensions (training sectors, etc)

Preparation for the federal professional diploma examination

Preparation for federal PET diploma examination according to various dimensions (training sectors, etc)

Preparation for the advanced federal professional diploma examination

Preparation for the advanced federal PET diploma examinations according to various dimensions (training sectors, etc)

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