What are the Best Courses to Study in Austria?

Feb 21, 2020Get Started, Study in Austria

Are you thinking to study in Austria but don’t know which course to take? It can be a tough decision to make since the country provides 2,000-degree programs at more than 70 higher education institutions.

This post will help you to figure out which courses worth your time and money but also recommended to take especially in the heart of Europe – Austria.

The best Bachelor programs to take in Austria:

  • Law
  • Psychology
  • Tourism and leisure management
  • Economics
  • Medicine
  • Pedagogy
  • Communication science
  • Architecture
  • History
  • English and American studies
  • Biology
  • Informatics

Best Courses in Austria – Guide

Austria is famous for humanities courses, they often include law, history, communication science, pedagogy, language. The country also attracts thousands of students each year aiming to study Medicine, Psychology and Communication science.

Reason for this that Germany and some other countries have restrictions on admission for these subjects, to be enrolled the average notes of applicants must be nearly excellent.

1. Law

Short disclaimer – for law major in Austria, you have to understand that your German language knowledge must be more than sufficient otherwise you won’t understand all context which is very important in law studies.

Moreover, international students will be limited only to work in Austria and use the Austrian law (unless you complete studies in international law).

I hope you know that law studies it’s not a quick jump into a career, you will need to dedicate many years for education and certificates so you can call yourself a lawyer or even a tax advisor.

Studying law includes lots of reading, organization, and self-discipline. It’s a difficult major but very rewarding since law graduates have a very decent salary in Austria starting with 3,000 EUR after a bachelor’s degree.

For successful graduation in this major, you will need a fast understanding of information and a high interest in politics, law, and society. In order to manage the studies content, good self-organization is of great importance. The law student must be able to work in a structured manner and to be able to express content independently without a book.

The core areas of study are the civil law, criminal law, and public law.

Law in Austria is one of the oldest degree programs and is still very popular, in fact, the most popular among Austrian students. Although the content is very demanding and requires a high learning effort, career opportunities and salary prospects are attractive.

The standard period of study is 9 semesters. It is divided into the basic course, which takes about 4 semesters and the main course, which makes up the rest of the time.

To be enrolled to law major applicants will need to pass entrance examination.

Future job and salary

There are so many fields law graduates can work in, the classical professions are judge, notary, state and private lawyer. Thus, there are also many possibilities outside the regulated legal professions – from auditor to information lawyer. Depending on the interests and focus of the studies, different activities are possible.

Studied lawyers are employed both in the companies and businesses, as well as independent lawyers or in courts.

Salary for young law graduates starts at 3,000 EUR with an average of 3,700 EUR.

Top universities to study Law in Austria

  • University of Vienna
  • University of Salzburg
  • Danube University Krems
  • University of Innsbruck
  • Karl-Franzens University of Graz
  • MCI Management Center Innsbruck – International Business & Law (English)
  • WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

2. Psychology

Psychology together with Medicine is the most popular course for foreign students from Germany and other neighboring countries.

This subject tends to study more native German speakers since the course is complex enough. Nevertheless, psychology is one of the most popular subjects to study at degree level. 

Psychology is interesting to study since it is in all areas of our everyday life, you encounter psychological concepts, whether in advertising, in the supermarket, in sports or even at work. Many students attend the course because they want to understand or help themselves and their relatives.

A psychology degree in Austria is interdisciplinary and includes mathematical, biological and medical elements.

Future job and salary

!To work independently as a psychologist in Austria, it is essential to have a master’s degree. With a bachelor’s degree, you are only entitled to perform psychological activities as an employee basis and under professional guidance.

While pursuing a degree you should clarify your interests in a certain subject area and know roughly where your professional path should lead. But overall you are free to pursue a career as a psychotherapist or rather go into business or start a career in research.

Possible professions after Psychology degree:

  • Hospital
  • Psychiatric, psychotherapeutic or psychosomatic clinics, and ambulatory clinics
  • Rehabilitation clinics
  • Helpline
  • Help with addiction
  • Elderly care
  • Care of people with mental or spiritual disabilities
  • Activity in research and teaching
  • Organizational Development and Change Management
  • Consulting and Coaching of executives

The starting salary for psychologists is on average between 2,600 and 2,900 EUR per month.

Top universities to study Psychology in Austria

  • University of Vienna
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University of Salzburg
  • University of Graz
  • Webster Vienna Private University
  • Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt
  • The Medical University Of Vienna
  • Danube University Krems

3. Tourism and Leisure Management

Tourism and Leisure Management course combines tourism and management together. Austria always had been a popular destination, on average, it receives 40 million people each year.

Therefore the country teaches young people with cutting edge education on how to manage the tourism industry. It plays a significant role in the Austrian economy as well as one of the fastest-growing sectors.

You must bring these skills with you:

  • Service-Oriented Thinking
  • Economic Thinking
  • Interest in Business Administration
  • Creativity in the development of new products
  • Intercultural Competences
  • Cultural Know-how
  • Good Knowledge Of English

Future job and salary

Anyone who wants to work in the tourism industry has a very good chance of finding a job in Austria. You can choose whether you want to work at home or abroad because both are possible thanks to the international orientation of your studies.

Future fields and professions for tourism managers:

  • Tour operator
  • Tourism associations
  • Hotel chains (International)
  • Leisure
  • Tourist Online Service Provider
  • Tourist Marketing Groups
  • Teaching and research
  • Event agencies
  • Trade fair and Event Management

Your future income is influenced by various factors. For example, your qualifications, the size of the company in which you work or your position and responsibilities.

The starting salary for the Tourism and Leisure manager is on average between 1,800 and 2,400 EUR per month.

Top universities to study Tourism in Austria

  • University Of Applied Sciences Salzburg
  • MCI Management Center Innsbruck – International University
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University Of Applied Sciences Vienna Economy

4. Economics

Business, Economics it’s probably the most popular majors to study abroad or study in English. Why not learn it in the country with one of the strongest economies in the world?

Both business and economic contents are taught at Austrian universities. In the field of Business Administration, students initially learn about accounting, cost accounting (bookkeeping), marketing and finance. Economics has a more broad spectrum with macroeconomic contexts.

Economics tends to be more theoretical whereas Business Administration is more practical.

If you want to have more practical insight, studies at the University of Applied Sciences will be a better choice. Therefore various business administration courses are offered. Classic economics you can study only at universities.

Especially the combination of economics and sociology is very popular in Austrian universities.

What specific interests and requirements should you bring? Of course an interest in economics, basic mathematical skills, analytical thinking and communication skills.

Future job and salary

No company can perform without economists or employees with business knowledge. The prospects for a good job are therefore quite good. Graduates can work in different areas like accounting, finance, marketing, logistics, HR.

As a graduate of economics, you have a wide range of professions to choose from. You can look around professionally in all sectors of management.

The following fields are open to you:

  • Human resources
  • Control
  • Financial accounting
  • Marketing and sales
  • Production and logistics
  • Project management
  • Corporate management
  • Consulting

The list goes on and on, Economics is very general studies, so you can specialize in many different areas.

The average salary for professionals in economics starts between 2,200 and 3,500 EUR.

Top universities to study Economics in Austria

  • WU Vienna
  • University of Innsbruck
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz

Top universities to study Business in Austria

  • University of Graz
  • University of Applied Sciences Salzburg
  • University of Vienna
  • WU Vienna
  • University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg
  • Webster University Vienna – Private University

5. Medicine

The medicine studies in Austria requires you to have sufficient knowledge of German, at least level C1 and some understanding of Latin. There are no courses in English for medical majors.

The aim of studying medicine is, of course, to train you to become a competent doctor. A good doctor is not only the one who has a lot of expertise, but also the one with whom the patients feel in good hands.

Studying human medicine is challenging and requires a lot of learning discipline. During your studies, you will gain insights into the various medical fields such as microbiology, immunology, oncology, cardiology, and gastroenterology.

Most importantly, you will learn about the structures and functional mechanisms of the human body, the different stages of development from health to disease, as well as the influence of the environment on human health.

Because doctors have to deal with so many people you need to behave appropriately, polite and respectful with your colleagues, patients, and other human beings. Not everyone can be a doctor, in order to become a one you need to possess some skills and traits such as:

  • Sense of responsibility
  • Resistance
  • No problem to see blood, for example
  • No problem with physical contact
  • Empathy
  • Discipline
  • The will for lifelong learning

As a medical worker, you not only take care of the physical problems of your patients, you also act to a certain extent as a psychologist who listens to their fears, worries, and problems.

Future job and salary

After your studies, you have to decide in which field you want to go or whether you want to work as a general doctor (what is not the best choice). General doctors often receive fewer salary than specialists and they don’t get recognized much.

Most of the time you will work in the hospital or in a private clinic (praxis).

But jobs other than a hospital are also possible such as in medical research,
medical journalism, as a doctor in larger businesses or as a medic abroad in third countries.

The average salary for new doctors starts at 3,500 EUR, but it very depends on your field and type of occupation.

Top universities to study Medicine in Austria

  • Medical University of Vienna
  • Medical University of Innsbruck
  • Medical University of Graz
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz
  • Paracelsus Medical private University in Salzburg
  • Danube Private University in Krems

6. Pedagogy

Future pedagogues are trained to teach students knowledge in the subject area of their specialization/preference. Despite a reputation, educators don’t only work with children and teenagers, but with people of all ages.

You will mainly deal with the theory and practice of education, education and social assistance in different contexts, for example, school, further education, adult schools, family and media. In addition to educational content, you will learn about psychology, philosophy, and sociology during your studies.

Interests and skills you should have:

  • Joy to explain/teach something to other people, especially children, and young people
  • Awake enthusiasm, even with ” dry topics”
  • A stable and resistant personality
  • Professional suitability and interest in the subject

Participation in seminars enables the acquisition of in-depth knowledge and the exchange with professors and fellow students.

If you still don’t know what pedagogy studies is about here are examples of typical subjects of this major:

  • Philosophy of education
  • Knowledge management
  • Socialization
  • History and culture of education
  • Comparative pedagogy and educational models
  • Organization of education

The standard period of study in pedagogy is up to ten semesters, depending on the University.

Future job and salary

Teachers can work, for example, at elementary schools, secondary schools, middle and high schools, pedagogical schools and in adult education.

Alternatively, you can pursue a career in science and research or in the public sector (public authorities, offices).

Particularly good employment opportunities also arise in adult education, as this is becoming increasingly important for the economy of the country.

Joung professionals in the pedagogic field earn between 2,600 and 2,900 EUR per month.

Top universities to study Pedagogy in Austria

  • University of Vienna
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University of Graz
  • University of Salzburg
  • WU Vienna

7. Communication science

Communication science belongs to the social sciences and humanities. It deals with all aspects of communication, media, and journalism. In Austria, students learn about human communication behavior and how the media influences our perception and decision making.

You can choose between specializations in journalism, media management or Public Relations. Also, don’t forget about online communication, it plays a significant role in communication science.

Future job and salary

Possible professional fields include PR Assistant / Manager, Social Media Manager, Editor, Marketing employee, Journalist. Due to the many graduates from this field, the job search isn’t necessarily easy.

Many different factors influence income in media and communication professions. First and foremost, it plays a major role in whether you are working as a freelancer or as an employee. Especially in journalism, PR, and advertising, freelance activities are quite common.

In addition to the nature of your employment, the industry in which you work has an influence on the level of salary.

Your previous practical experience (side jobs, internships) and your degree (Bachelor or Master) also influence your salary.

Starting salary for a graduate of communication science ranges between 1,800 and 2,800 EUR.

Top universities to study Communication Science in Austria

  • University of Vienna
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University of Graz
  • University of Salzburg
  • WU Vienna

8. Architecture

The study of architecture combines engineering and design. Overall, the study is very practical and therefore also very diverse. For the areas of interior design and landscape architecture, there are separate courses of study.

Architects play a key role in determining the image of cities, are involved in construction projects or plan real estate for private individuals.

Future architecture students must have a good understanding of mathematics, physics, but also art and design. Some universities require submission of a portfolio of creative works as a part of the admission test.

Classical subjects of architecture deal with the history of architecture, as well as representation technology and building construction.

Depending on the University, the standard period of study before the Bachelor’s degree is usually 6 or 8 semesters.

You should bring these qualities with you to make your studies easier:

  • Mathematical-scientific understanding
  • General knowledge of maths and physics
  • Logical-abstract thinking
  • English skills
  • Handicraft skills
  • Creativity and curiosity

In addition, also communication skills are important since an architect never works alone but comes into contact with the most diverse disciplines in the execution of the planning.

Future job and salary

Graduates of architecture studies can look forward to a challenging and creative professional field. Austria loves experiments in housing styles, big cities like Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck will offer you the best opportunities for interesting and creative projects.

Innovative and well-trained architects are urgently needed in times of increasing importance of sustainability. It is not only about designing modern buildings made of glass with integrated Solar function but also about the sustainable use of materials and how the construction affects the environment/region.

Your future place of work might be:

  • Architectural offices
  • Planning offices
  • Building companies
  • Construction company
  • Freelance Work
  • Public Service
  • Your own company

You can choose between many professional fields:

  1. Object – and project development
  2. Construction supervision and construction management
  3. Design and competitive responsibility
  4. Construction management
  5. Research and development
  6. City administration
  7. Independent architectural activity after passing the civil technician examination
  8. Project development and advisory activity
  9. Architecture journalism

Starting salary for a graduate of architecture course ranges between 2,400 and 2,700 EUR.

Top universities to study Architecture in Austria

  • University of Innsbruck
  • Technical University of Graz
  • Technical University of Vienna (TU Vienna)
  • University of artistic and industrial design Linz
  • University Of Applied Sciences Campus Vienna
  • Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

9. History

One of the most complex subjects of study is history since it deals extensively with historical events and their influence until modern times.

If you are interested in Austrian history and culture this might be just a dream course to study, moreover, you will also able to learn about Europe.

Students can generally choose between three basic directions: ancient, medieval and more recent history.

Your possible specializations are:

  • Modern and contemporary history in Europe
  • European history of the early modern period
  • History of the Renaissance
  • Medieval History
  • Greek and Roman history

Students should have an interest in historical events and the ability to read a big amount of literature.

Future job and salary

You might ask yourself what you can do with history studies in nowadays world. There are a number of different possibilities: very common one when graduates pursue an academic career after they finish a doctoral degree.

Apart from the career at University, there are numerous employment options for historians:

  • Teaching
  • Museums
  • Library and Archive
  • Media Relations (Press, Radio, Television, Online Media)
  • Culture management
  • The management of science
  • Museum didactics and Museum pedagogy
  • Adult education
  • Tourism (tours, travel planning, advice, guidance)

Starting salary for young historians is between 2,300 and 3,000 EUR.

Top universities to study History in Austria

  • University of Vienna
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University of Graz
  • University of Salzburg
  • University of Linz JKU
  • Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt

10. English and American Studies

English studies is a course where you will master the English language. American Studies refers in particular to the American language, as well as the literature and culture of the United States of America.

Very good English skills are expected and make it easier to get started. Also, students of English studies should enjoy language, literature, and history of America, as well as grammar and Linguistics.

The standard period of study is four to six semesters. During your studies, it might be necessary to complete a semester abroad in order to improve your language skills.

Future job and salary

The occupational fields and career opportunities for English studies are very diverse, especially in areas that include language, media, publishing, writing, translations, communication, and culture.

Your future fields of work can be:

  • Media and Marketing
  • Journalism
  • Cultural management
  • Translation
  • Communication management
  • Science and research
  • Adult education
  • Administrative activities
  • Diplomatic Service
  • Information and knowledge management (libraries or archives)

Unfortunately, with an English Studies degree, there is no classic career path that you can take. Many graduates experience difficulties to find suitable to their knowledge job.

Therefore, you should seriously consider your professional future before you graduate, so that you can work towards it already during your studies.

You could, for example, pursue a student job or internships where you gain initial experience and build come relationships with employers.

Starting salary after English and American Studies is between 2,700 and 3,000 EUR.

Top universities to study English and American Studies in Austria

  • University of Vienna
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University of Graz
  • University of Salzburg
  • Alpen-Adria University of Klagenfurt

11. Biology

Probably the most popular course of study in the Natural Sciences is biology. It is the scientific study of life, and just like life, it is a rich and diverse field of study.

Biologists study life at various levels, from the tiniest of cells, and organisms to entire ecosystems. In order to better understand biological processes, neighboring disciplines such as physics and chemistry are also used.

In the undergraduate studies, the focus is on areas of:

  • Cell biology
  • Genetics
  • Botanics
  • Systematic zoology

The aim of the course of study is to prepare the graduates for independent scientific work.

The study of biology is scientific and research-oriented and therefore requires the following characteristics:

  • Interest for all-natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics)
  • No fear of statistics, mathematics and information processing
  • Responsible handling of substances in laboratory work
  • Curiosity about complex relationships
  • Interest in research

Future job and salary

What comes after studying biology? Well, the biology degree program is research-oriented and therefore opens up most career options in the field of research and development. However, exciting possibilities also arise away from laboratories.

After finishing Biology degree you will have career opportunities in research and medicine, as well as authorities (expert offices, environmental ministries, etc.), but also as a teacher.

Biologists are also active in zoos and botanical gardens as well as museums. In order to pursue a career as a teacher, a bachelor of Education (B. Ed.) or Master of Education (M. Ed.) necessary.

You might work in one of these fields:

  • Research, development, and teaching at Universities
  • Research, development in medical and pharmaceutical laboratories
  • Biotechnology, bioanalytics and medical-diagnostic analysis
  • Media and Public relations in the context of new molecular biotechnologies
  • Biodiversity research
  • Agricultural science and biotechnology
  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Animal farming and breeding
  • Zoological Gardens, Botanical Gardens
  • Public Authorities, Public Administration
  • Food – and cosmetics industry

The salaries of biologists are usually very good and above the national average. The pharmaceutical industry, for example, is one of the top industries when it comes to earning opportunities.

Starting salary with a degree in Biology is between 2,800 and 3,000 EUR.

Top universities to study Biology in Austria

  • University of Vienna
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University of Graz
  • University of Salzburg
  • Technical University of Graz
  • Johannes Kepler University of Linz

12. Informatics

Computer scientists deal with Bits and Bytes, various programming languages and codes. Informatics is a relatively young discipline. In Austria, this subject was taught for the first time at the Johannes Kepler University Linz in 1969.

First, you will be taught the basic knowledge in Computer Science. However, since pure theory is not that important in a computer science degree, practical training takes a lot of space. You will get a chance to work on projects and so implement your knowledge in a given problem.

There are some subjects that you will encounter in every Bachelor’s degree, these include:

  • (Mathematical) fundamentals of Computer Science
  • Algorithms and data structures
  • System theory
  • Database systems
  • Operating systems and networks
  • Programming and programming languages
  • Software Quality Assurance
  • Web Development
  • IT security

What specific interests should you bring?

  • Interest in mathematical questions
  • Interest in software, digitization, and technology in general
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Programming skills are an advantage

The basics of informatics include:

  1. Mathematics (analysis, stochastics, linear algebra)
  2. Fundamentals of computer science (algorithms, data structures, formal languages, object orientation)
  3. Technical informatics

Many students underestimate the importance of mathematical knowledge in this field.


Future job and salary

Due to digitalization, there are good career prospects for computer scientists now and in the future. They are needed everywhere, hence you can find a job almost in all industries, and in small and big businesses.

Moreover, Austria and neighboring Germany experience a shortage of skilled workers, especially of IT specialists.

Your future job can be as a:

  • Software Developer
  • IT specialist for Internet applications
  • IT Security and network technology
  • Intelligent systems and Smart Grids
  • System Administrator
  • Database Designer
  • Information manager

Starting salary with a degree in Informatics is between 2,700 and 3,000 EUR.

Top universities to study Informatics in Austria

  • University of Vienna
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University of Graz
  • University of Salzburg
  • Technical University of Graz
  • WU Vienna
  • Johannes Kepler University of Linz
  • University of Klagenfurt
  • FH Technikum Vienna
  • University of Applied Science Wiener Neustadt
  • University of Applied Science Campus 02
  • University of Applied Science FH OOE

Career with an Austrian Degree

Austria has one of the best education and universities in the entire Europe. Austrian degree allows you to work in Austria but moreover in all European Union. Thanks to the Bologna declaration and ECTS system, your qualification will be equal with a foreign one.

Accordingly to the statistics, the best career opportunities students will find in the following industries (respectively):

  • Electronics, Communication Systemst., Automation
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Manufacturing and mining
  • IT, Software
  • Process Engineering and Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering, Architecture
  • Pharmacology
  • Veterinary
  • Management, Administration, General Business Administration
  • Law
  • Biology
  • Food and biotechnology
  • Pedagogy
  • Linguistics, English and American studies

And the lowest chances are in the Philosophy field.

Despite the size of the country, Austria is providing jobs in many different sectors. With this said graduates don’t have to worry about their future, they will find a suitable job for sure.

If that happens and they couldn’t find desirable employment, they can always accept a job in another European country without any problem.

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