Vocational upper secondary education for youth
Vocational studies prepare students for real careers and jobs, so the studies are conducted in constant close connection with the working life. Vocational studies are versatile and practice oriented, and students learn mostly through hands-on activities. The studies include at least 30 competence points (half a school year) of on-the-job learning at workplaces. After earning a vocational degree, the graduating students possess skills that qualify them for a wide range of jobs rather than for only one type of employment.
Vocational upper secondary degrees can be earned through studies at vocational institutions and through apprenticeship training. The studies comprise 180 competence points, meaning that they take three years. Students who have passed the Matriculation Examination can earn a vocational degree in a shorter period of time. As they study towards a vocational upper secondary degree, students can also take the Matriculation Examination, in which case they earn a double degree.
Vocational upper secondary studies qualify students for further studies at universities. The City of Helsinki provides vocational upper secondary education at the multi-disciplinary institution Helsinki Vocational College. Helsinki Vocational College offers nearly 30 degrees and provides skills for a broad range of jobs.
Instruction, meals and student health care are free at Helsinki Vocational College, but students acquire and pay for their school books and other course and learning materials.
In addition to Helsinki Vocational College, Helsinki has 12 private or foundation-maintained vocational institutions that offer vocational upper secondary degrees