In the final years of secondary education, pupils in preparatory secondary education (vmbo) are required to choose a discipline sector, while pupils in senior general secondary education (havo) and pre-university education (vwo) have to choose a subject cluster. In years 3 and 4, vmbo pupils can choose from four sectors: agriculture; health, personal care and welfare; economics; and technology. Since school year 2007/’08 it has also been possible combine two sectors in so-called inter-sectoral programmes. In this article pupils in years 3 and 4 of the theoretical track of vmbo are not taken into account, as the sources used here have no information about sector choices in this track.

Pupils combining sectors can choose from the inter-sectoral programmes: service and commerce; ICT-route; technology and commerce; technology and service; technology orientation and sport; and service and security.