Educational level

The data on education are based on Statistics Finland's Register of Completed Education and Degrees.

Six categories are used for the level of education in vital statistics: basic level, upper secondary level, lowest level tertiary, lower-degree level tertiary, higher-degree level tertiary and doctorate or equivalent level. Educational level is measured by the duration of education.

Those with basic level qualifications have had at most nine years of education, with leaving certificates from primary schools, middle schools and comprehensive schools.

Those having completed the upper secondary level of education have spent 11 to 12 years in education. These qualifications include matriculation examination, vocational qualifications attained in 1-3 years and further vocational qualifications.

Lowest level tertiary education lasts 2 to 3 years after upper secondary education. Examples of these qualifications include qualification of technician engineer, diploma in business and administration and diploma in nursing, which are not polytechnic degrees. Those having completed lower-degree level tertiary education have had 3 to 4 years of education after upper secondary education.

Lower-degree level tertiary education comprises polytechnic degrees and lower university degrees.

Higher-degree level tertiary education comprises education with a duration of 5 to 6 years after upper secondary education. This type of education leads to higher university degrees (master's degree) and specialist's degrees in medicine.

Completion of doctorate or equivalent level tertiary education requires independent research work or doctorate theses fit for publication. The degrees are scientific licentiate and doctorate degrees.


Validity of the definition

  • Valid until (31 December 2078)

Source organisation

  • Tilastokeskus