The dual education system, which combines theoretical and practical teaching, is applied in preparing for careers requiring apprentice training as well as in higher vocational schools. Curriculum and training courses are tailored to the requirements of the business world. Apprentices are professionally trained in companies or gain on-the-job experience within the context of internships.
In Austrian education, joint projects are often carried out by schools working together with the business community, such as diploma projects focusing, for example, on the practical implementation of research and development findings.
This two-pronged approach is considered to be exemplary throughout Europe and is a key factor underlying the success of Austria as a business location. Foreign investors highly value the specialized skills and the sound, fundamental know-how of Austrian employees.
In order to further build upon these high standards, Austria invests 5.8% of its gross domestic product on education.
In addition to focusing on gaining practical experience, the Austrian educational system attaches considerable importance to specialization. This not only takes place at universities or during a person’s studies, but beforehand at school. Students always have the opportunity to specialize, whether at higher secondary technical, polytechnic or business schools. For example, the Polytechnic Secondary School for Mechanical Engineering offers more than ten different courses of study. Three quarters of all Austrians take advantage of this offering in the school system and successfully complete a secondary school education.