Overview of the Austrian Education System
The Austrian education system offers a wide range of possibilities to lay the foundation for a successful career in tourism. If you are interested in working in tourism you can either choose an apprenticeship in tourism or attend a school with a focus on tourism.
The graphic shows the different opportunities people have to start or restart their carrier in tourism - reaching from a very practice-oriented education to scientific and research oriented studies at university level.
Apprenticeship (after the 9th school year; duration of 2-4 years)
In Austria, apprenticeship training is organised as dual education after the ninth school year: a company-based training (80 %) and compulsory attendance of a part-time vocational school, the so-called "Berufsschule" (20 %).
Apprentices may only be trained in legally recognised apprenticeship professions (currently 12 apprenticeships are directly linked to the tourism sector). The apprenticeship usually takes three years, but it may also take four years. Depending on the educational background, the training period may be reduced to two years.
The Austrian VET system
Vocational education and training (VET) schools and colleges balance the provision of broad general education, occupation-related theory and practice (work-placements, internships). They provide special tourism and hospitality programs of various durations and levels from the ninth school year:
- VET school (3 years): vocational training basis
- VET college (5 years): A-Level certificate/Matura (=Austrian national school-leaving examination entitling to university studies) and VET Diploma, permission to access universities
- Supplementary course for tourism - upgrade of apprenticeship or VET school (3 years): A-Level/Matura
- Tourism College (2 years): Post-secondary VET course following completion of A-Level/Matura in order to receive a VET Diploma
Academic Studies (after A-Level certificate/Matura or vocational diploma)
A number of Austrian universities and universities of applied sciences offer academic education in the field of tourism and hospitality management. They provide practice-oriented, science-based occupational training and in-depth theoretical and research skills.
Education and Working in Tourism
In the Austrian tourism and leisure industry, employees are needed on an urgent basis. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy supports initiatives to enhance the attractiveness of working in tourism and to inspire people to consider a job in the tourism industry. Modernising training content and providing support for trainees and companies are just some of the measures on offer. Moreover, companies are investing in modern employee management as well.