Historical System (Prior to 2005)

Educational system
Before 2005 (the implementation of the Bologna Process and comprehensive educational reform), Serbian implemented the system from the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Preschool education was optional and primary and secondary education were the same. As of school year 2005-2006, previous Diploma visokog obrazovanja has been equalized with Master's degree, and Magister with the two years of doctoral studies (one year until doctorate) (because of the same length). Quaternary education has been abolished and its contents were moved to tertiary education.

Professional qualification
Historical system ranked students by professional qualification (stručna sprema). Those who graduated primary school were qualified as unqualified workers (nekvalifikovani radnik), while those who graduated gymnasium were semi-qualified workers (polukvalifikovani radnik).

Those who graduated professional high school had secondary professional qualification (srednja stručna sprema), those with higher school higher professional qualification (viša stručna sprema), while those with university had high professional degree (visoka stručna sprema).

Degrees of professionality
Other than professional qualification ranking that indicated workers' ability to work, there also were degrees of professionality (stepen stručne spreme). Those who graduated gymnasiums had the IV degree (reserved for four-year professional schools). The degrees were:

I degree - Lower grades of primary school (4 years for degree; 4 years in total)
II degree - Higher grades of primary school (4 years for degree; 8 years in total)
III degree - Three-year professional school (3 years for degree; 11 years in total)
IV degree - Four-year professional school (4 years for degree; 12 years in total)
V degree - Four-year professional school (4 years for degree; 12 years in total)
VI degree - Higher school (3 years for degree; 15 years in total)
VII1 degree - Visoko obrazovanje (5 years for degree; 17 years in total)
VII2 degree - Magistracy (2 years for degree; 19 years in total)
VIII degree - Doctorate/PhD (1 year for degree; 20 years in total)