Budapest (Picture from Wikimedia)Young Hungarians are at the crossroads of 2 education systems: the old one and the new one.

The vocational training pathway in the old system had a bad reputation among young people and employers. Young people following this pathway obtained mediocre results and lost all motivation. Furthermore, the pathway had few links with the labour market.

In 2011, the Parliament approved new acts on VET and national public education. They became effective in three phases: September 2012, January 2013 and September 2013. Since 2015, vocational training system has been updated to provide an adequate response to the changing trends in the education system, economy and the labour market. The reform aimed at better skills formation for young people and adults, including more dual training. The former VET system will phase out by 2019.

The Hungarian VET system is open and flexible. The system of the National Qualification Registermakes this possible because its qualifications can be placed among 23 professional groups and 42 sectors. Learners’ previous training can be recognised when changing study area or professional group shortening the study period.

The Hungarian education system – 2014


Hungarian system (© Onisep /Elise Veteau)




The vocational pathway in Hungary


Secondary education

In Hungary, upper secondary education is divided into 3 streams, 2 of which offer vocational education and training (VET):

  • The mainstream grammar school (Gimnázium) (lower and upper cycles) from 10 to 18 years old. The school-leaving certificate (Erettségi) allows pupils to move on to higher education.
  • The technical secondary school (Szakközépiskola) from 14 to 18/19 years old. Both mainstream and vocational education are on offer here and pupils can go on to higher education.
  • The vocational secondary school (Szakiskola) from 14 to 17/18 years old. This school offers vocational training leading to a vocational diploma.


Higher education

Higher Education VET Programs  (felsöoktatási szakképzés, FSZ) are open to students who have obtained a certificate on completing secondary education. They cover 2 years of study and are awarded 60 credits. Since the beginning of the 2013/2014 school year, only colleges can offer vocational higher education.

Since 2015/16, higher VET is also offered individual programmes.The higher VET institution signs a cooperation agreement with the company providing practical training, while the company has to sign an employment contract with the VET student.


Since 2010, the Hungarian government is encouraging the setting-up of dual training. Dual training is available since 2013 throughout secondary education and mainly leads to the crafts and trades.

Dual training does not guarantee employment. Learners may sign a contract already in the first VET year. Practical training may also take place in school workshops. In 2015/16, most vocational secondary school learners participated in training at schools.

Key figures

  • The employment rate for IVET graduates (aged 20-34) at ISCED levels 3-4 (81.8%) is above the EU average (78.1%). (CEDEFOP – 2017)
  • The percentage of early leavers from education and training in Hungary (12.4%) is above the EU average (10.7%). (CEDEFOP – 2017)

Last update : 18/06/2018

To find out more

The Hungarian Education system on Eurypedia

EURES (European Job Mobility Portal) : Living and working in Hungary

The Ministry for Education (Educatio Kht)

The Euroguidance portal in Hungary, a comprehensive portal on studies, living in Hungary etc.

The Hungarian centre for information and diploma equivalences

The national agency for employment Nemzeti (Foglalkoztatási Szolgálat)

The Hungarian association of trades and crafts (Ipartestületek Országos Szövetsége)

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara)

The Confederation of Hungarian employers and industrialists (Munkaadók és Gyáriparosok Országos Szövetsége)

Hungarian higher education portal