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Career ladder Advanced professional training reaps financial rewards

Baker in action at Swiss skills

Vocational skills on show: baker in action at Swiss Skills 2018 event showcasing professional training 

(KEYSTONE / ANTHONY ANEX)

More than half of those with a vocational training background benefited financially from opting for advanced professional education equivalent to a tertiary education qualification.

A survey by the Federal Statistical Office published on Tuesday found that in 2016, there were over 30,000 candidates working towards an advanced professional education and training qualification. Among the most common reasons given: potential career advancement and boost in income.

According to the survey, 60% said that their training had had a “positive effect” on their salaries and 50% said their chances of career advancement had “significantly improved”. The opportunity for personal development was also rated very highly.

These higher qualifications include the Advanced Federal Diplomaexternal link, which allows professionals to gain an expert qualification and prepare for managing a business, and the Federal Diplomaexternal link, the basis for specialisation in a field. They both allow someone with vocational training to gain a tertiary level educationexternal link.

Swiss tertiary level is divided into two sectors: the higher education sector, like universities, and professional education. The country’s education system is characterised by a high degree of flexibility, meaning that you could, for example, can start off with an apprenticeship and still go into higher education. But a university education is not always necessary with higher vocational education qualifications.

Around two thirds of Swiss pupils go into vocational educational and training (VET).

+ Find out more about Swiss education in our dossierexternal link

Most of those taking these diplomas had around ten years’ work experience and were on average aged 32 (advanced diploma) or 36 (federal diploma). Those preparing for higher education entrance were the youngest at 28.

The survey comes after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said last year that pupils had more opportunities for upward educational mobility in Switzerland than on average across other OECD countries.

Education indicators OECD: upward educational mobility ‘possible in Switzerland’

People from disadvantaged groups advance in education better than in many other countries, says the OECD. But there is still room for improvement.

FSO/swissinfo.ch/ilj

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