Which 2-year University programme in France to choose?

15 Jul 2019

Study group of 7 students

The French 2-year University programme (BTS or Brevet de Technicien Supérieur) is a State diploma of French higher education bac + 2 level. This short training allows students to acquire, in just two years, the essential know-how that makes them quickly operational on the job market. In France, there are many BTS (more than 150 different specialisations) and these courses can be followed in a high school or in a private institution. It is not always easy for young graduates to find their way right after the baccalaureate (A-Level or High School Diploma). How to choose the right subject area? Where to do your 2-year University programme? Which criterias to take into account? Here, some useful recommendations...


Define your career plan, ask the right questions


In the final year and even before obtaining a baccalaureate (A-level or High School Diploma), it is already important to think carefully about your career plan and the jobs you might like. Ask yourself the right questions and don’t hesitate to get help from a career counselor when you do your research. What subjects are you interested in? In which business environment are you  imagining yourself in? What are your career aspirations? Do you have a favorite sector? Business, management, communication, marketing, real estate? Are you planning an international career? There is necessarily one or more subject areas that correspond to you but the first step is essentially to define your project before choosing the BTS that will open a career in line with your aspirations and your personality. Also remember to find out about opportunities, check that the employment rates are mentioned in the various brochures of these courses. Otherwise, ask the question at any open day.


Choose your BTS according to your sector


Keep the door open but keep in mind that some BTS recruit students from certain sectors or course options. Here are some examples for the IPAG BTS at the Nice campus:

  • BTS Real Estate, one of the most sought after BTS on the job market widely recruits graduates from the STMG and ES baccalaureate series;
  • BTS Communication corresponds to ES, L or STMG baccalaureate students but also to Communication Professional Baccalaureate students;
  • BTS Operational Commercial Management corresponds to S, ES, STMG baccalaureates but also Commercial Professional Baccalaureate:
  • Finally, the BTS International Trade is compatible with STMG, ES, Commercial Professional Baccalaureates, but also STI2D and S students.


Stack all the odds in your favour for admission


It is obvious, the notes and evaluations of your teachers will influence the quality of your application when your admission will be studied. Check the admission criterias, they are different from one BTS to another. Written tests, English or general culture, motivation interview, etc. Don’t neglect anything, too many students must postpone the start of their higher education studies to the next year failing to apply on timeto a particular BTS. If in any doubt or whether you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the admissions department of the institution in which you plan to study.


Initial training or apprenticeship?


The professionalism side of the BTS is the main reason of the success for this programme.  Some schools like IPAG Nice offer the opportunity to do this training in apprenticeship. The apprenticeship allows reduced tuition fees paid by host companies and the accumulation of professional experience for students: that is always appreciated by recruiters. Regardless of the subject area you choose, apprenticeship is a springboard for your career and offers you often the opportunity to stay in the company where you did your apprenticeship during your curriculum. If you prefer to follow an initial training, keep in mind that most of the time, the internship is mandatory in the first and/or second year, it also allows you to increase your experience in the business world.


Public or private institution?


The choice of the institution in which you will pass your BTS is essential, whether near you or somewhere else, you will have to choose between a public institution such as a high school or a private institution such as a post-baccalaureate (A-Level or High School Diploma) business school. If tuition fees are higher in a business school than in a high school, the price difference is often justified. More selective, the leading business schools offer a different study environment, supervision and support closest to students, a better success rate, a better employment rate, access to a network of important partner companies, etc. Public BTS, Private BTS? Weigh up the pros and cons before making your choice. Also remember to check that the BTS you will choose follows the repository of the French Ministry of Education.


And after? Get a job or pursue your studies?


The advantage of undertaking a BTS in a great business school is that you can continue your higher education in the same school. Whether to deepen your knowledge or specialise yourself in a field a little more, schools sometimes offer you, such as IPAG, to enroll in a Bachelor's degree corresponding to the specialisation of your BTS programme: Bachelor Real Estate, Bachelor Marketing & Digital Communication, Bachelor of Luxury Management, Bachelor International Trade...


BTS success rates at IPAG Nice:

  • BTS Communication: 93% success rate
  • BTS MUC (Management of Commercial Units): 94% success rate
  • BTS Accounting Management: 100% success rate
  • BTS International Trade: 100% success rate
  • BTS Real Estate Management: 94% success rate