At the end of a successful study students are awarded a degree. The degree certifies that the student successfully mastered all the mandatory parts of the study subject. With the BA degree you can either start your vocational life or continue your academic career by topping up with a Master´s degree.
With the Bologna Reform this new form of stepped degrees was introduced. This means that at most Universities you gain your Bachelor´s degree after three years and if you are accepted for a Master´s study you continue studying for another two years. There are also Bachelor studies that take 3.5 years and the consecutive Master´s degree only takes 1.5 years. But these usually represent exceptions.
But not every Bachelor program is the same. There are double Bachelor degrees, Bachelors of Science and Bachelors of Arts. And the same holds true for Master studies. There are different variants of the degree you can graduate with: The technical, science-oriented and some engineer students graduate with a Bachelor of Science.
The social sciences and language studies conclude with a Bachelor of Arts. Whereas teachers-to-be mostly graduate with a Bachelor of education. However, there might still be differences between different countries. For example in Germany not all fields of study were changed to the Bachelor and Master system. Medicine and pharmacy students e.g. still graduate with a state examination, as do most juristic courses of study.
For those who want to continue their academic career after their Master´s degree, they can start a PhD and after that become a professor.