Academic path to a profession and/or Matura
BMS / BHS / AHS
Secondary technical and vocational schools (BMS) last one to four years. One and two-year BMS provide partial vocational education, while three and four-year BMS provide a complete vocational education. Following a BMS course of at least three years, advanced courses (three years) lead to the matriculation and diploma exam. For graduates of four-year technical schools, there are special technical colleges. BMS are usually called “School for...” or “Technical College” (Fachschule).
Secondary technical and vocational colleges (BHS) lead to the Matura and completed vocational training at the same time. The training lasts five years. BHS can include business academies (Handelsakademie or HAK), “Higher Schools for...” (HTL, HLW) or “Educational Institutions” such as BAfEP, BASOP (elementary and social pedagogy, respectively).
The upper level of an AHS provides a comprehensive general education and leads to the Matura. This entitles graduates to study at (pedagogic) higher education institutions, technical colleges, universities or academies, as well as to attend higher vocational training courses and colleges.