Education is often seen as the most important mobility channel for children of immigrants. To what extent is this true? In this article, we look at successful second generation Turkish professionals in Sweden, France, Germany and The Netherlands. What kind of pathways did they take to become a professional? Based on the large quantitative international TIES survey, I reconstruct the pathways to a professional position in the four countries. We see how the open, comprehensive school systems in Sweden and France provide the main paths to a professional job. In Germany, however, it is the apprenticeship system. The Netherlands is a case in between. I describe how different educational institutional arrangements and the different ways the transition to the labour market is organised in the four countries also result in different routes to a professional career. I use new qualitative material from the ELITES project that was gathered in the four countries to illustrate the pathways to success in greater depth.