Commercial college

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The Handelsakademie (abbreviation HAK) is a vocational college (BHS) in Austria , the focus of which is commercial and business education for students. Commercial academies are among the Austrian schools that graduate with the Matura after five years and whose graduates are therefore entitled to study.


The training for the generally 14 to 19 year old students lasts five years and ends with the school leaving examination ( Matura ).

Organizationally, all schools are subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Education . If the school provider is also the federal government, they are referred to as the Federal Trade Academy (BHAK). But there are also private schools, such as those from the Fund of the Wiener Kaufmannschaft in Vienna and Lower Austria. Most commercial academies have a commercial college attached to them.


Both German and mostly two foreign languages ​​as well as economic subjects such as accounting and business administration as well as IT subjects are taught. Furthermore, each school can choose an additional focus, such as international economics or quality management, management theory and personal development .

Special forms

In urban areas, some commercial academies also offer the HAK evening school, which usually lasts four years. At some locations there is also a so-called advanced course , which makes it possible to complete the commercial academy in three years after graduating from commercial school.

Furthermore, a digital business branch has been introduced in some commercial academies in Austria under the name Commercial Academy for Business Informatics , in which above all a link between the economic aspect and IT training is promoted.

There are bilingual classes at several Austrian commercial academies , for example German and Slovene at the commercial academy in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, which has been in existence since 1990, and German and Hungarian at the commercial academy in Frauenkirchen .


The first commercial academies in Austria were founded in Prague (1856) and Vienna (1857). By 1901, 20 commercial academies (higher education institutions), as well as 47 commercial schools and 157 commercial advanced training schools were established.

At the beginning of the 20th century, commercial academies served as a four-year qualification that was equated with a completed apprenticeship in a craft and, together with a one-year internship, entitles the holder to practice a craft. The certificate from a commercial academy also served as a license to study at selected universities, preferably the University of World Trade in Vienna . In 1931, commercial academies were located in Vienna (four academies), Linz , Klagenfurt , Graz and Innsbruck .

The business academy ( obchodní akademie , Slovak obchodná akadémia ) is still used in the Czech Republic and Slovakia .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Commercial schools - vocational schools. In: BMBWF , accessed on May 4, 2020 .
  2. Business school / business academy for employed people. In: Retrieved May 4, 2020 .
  3. Advanced course. Business academies and business schools in Austria. In: Retrieved May 4, 2020 .
  4. Commercial Academy Digital Business. In: Retrieved May 4, 2020 .
  5. Body picture of the Bilingual Federal Trade Academy Klagenfurt. In: Retrieved May 4, 2020 .
  6. ^ Mission statement of the HAK & HAS Frauenkirchen. In: Retrieved May 4, 2020 .
  7. ^ Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, 6th edition 1905–1909, keyword commercial school.
  8. to: Der Große Brockhaus, 15th edition 1931, H-HZ