The Swiss authorities online

Jump to content

Apprenticeship or school? What comes after compulsory education?

Once they have completed their compulsory education, young people progress to upper secondary level. They then have to decide whether to do an apprenticeship or attend a school providing general education such as a baccalaureate school or an upper secondary specialised school.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) Programmes/Apprenticeships

The majority of young people commence vocational education and training (VET) following lower secondary level schooling. They do their apprenticeship either in a training company with one or two days’ a week at school, or full-time at school. Most apprenticeships are based on the dual system, with practical skills obtained in a training company and theory obtained at a VET school, and are completed at the age of 18 or 19.

Directory of recognized occupations

Federal Vocational Baccalaureate

After completing a three or four-year vocational education and training programme, you can obtain a Federal Vocational Baccalaureate. This allows you to study at a university of applied sciences without having to take an entrance exam.

General education programmes

Students attending an upper secondary baccalaureate or specialised school receive a general education which prepares them for higher education (tertiary level).

Academic baccalaureate

Specialised schools