Masters in Serious Estate Courses – Are they helpful? – Rating: 16

15 thoughts on “Masters in Serious Estate Courses – Are they helpful? – Rating: 16”

  1. Maybe consider a masters in construction management if interested in the development side. My undergrad is in CM and I’ve considered an MRED or MSRE.

  2. What’s your experience like so far? I used to work for a one of the top real estate companies in Canada / NA in their Multifamily team and I got the job straight out of undergrad. Some of my colleagues who were 3-4 yrs older than me and at the same level of seniority did their MSRED at Columbia which helped them get in. What I’m saying is, while MSRED’s are helpful they’re not necessary. If you lace up and go for a shit ton of coffees, you build a network and form relationships and get your name out in the industry. From there, jobs open up based off a guy you met two months ago and have kept in touch with, his friend working at another company needs an analyst and he puts you two in touch. Let’s say that company isn’t your dream company but is solid experience, you use that company for a year to build solid experience, all the while networking w your dream company and then you’re bound to get your foot in the door. This way, your investment is one year, albeit you’re making money, creating relationships and building experience. This compared to MSRED where you lose 1-2 yrs, fork a lot of money, and then are still starting off as an analyst. Just my two cents. If you’re good at networking and like the hustle go that route. If you’re not good at it, then maybe still go that route? The hustle is fundamental to RE. Just my two cents. If you have the time and money and want to be in school, go the MSRED route.

  3. I’m not sure if a masters will benefit you honestly. You say your bachelors is in RE? Why not find a small shop and work up and do an mba later if needed.

  4. If you have undergrad in RE, I’d skip grad school altogether and get a job at a builder now. They are hiring like crazy and you’ll get all the experience you need.

    Edit: I have a master’s in real estate development and have worked in land for public builders for over 10 yrs

  5. I have an MSRE. I also taught a course in an MSRE program for 3 years. I would say the answer to your question, in your situation, is no, not worth it. Focus on finding ways to work on the projects that interest you, work longer and harder than everyone else and you will succeed.

    That said, if you need the structure to study and work harder, then it could be beneficial. If you need an outlet to network, that could be a channel.

    I had +/-3 years CRE experience when I started the MSRE and could pretty much teach the classes. (My undergrad was a BBA focused in finance and RE) So much so, I was asked to work with faculty to improve program. Once I had completed the MSRE I was asked to come back and teach, which I did. After year 3, I decided it was a lost cause and the department would never get their shit together to make it a good program for seasoned RE people.

    That was 10 years ago. Since then, I started my own company, have developed and presently own the controlling interest in a $190m CRE portfolio.

    Did the MSRE help. Yes. It provided structure and networking opportunity that I needed. Could I have saved $60k in tuition and lots time and other grief that went with it, probably but you never know.

    Bottom line, any investment in yourself will payoff. Don’t stop pushing to work the deals that excite you.

  6. If you’re interested in SFH development, get in with a large builder. MSRE would be a waste of time. If you want to do MFH, get your masters after starting with a group as an analyst. I chose MFH because it was way more challenging. Currently I work for the top MFH developer and worked with the top luxury home builder. I have an undergrad in accounting and an MSRE.

  7. I was told by the firm I worked for that the MSRE, or other variants, are a waste of money. Go get a generic MBA from a good school as you need a network.

    If you want to get into a big firm, go to a good school. I dumb-lucked my way into one of the largest firms, but the work load, travel, and requirement of moving to keep advancing – and we had our first kid – meant it just wasn’t in the cards.

    Work hard and network, and you’ll end up fine.

  8. MSRE is really only for people trying to pivot. If you already have experience AND an industry-related undergrad it would 100% be a waste of time and money IMO.

    Even for people trying to pivot, and MBA from a school known for CRE is a better choice.

    If you have REPE experience at a firm where the analysts do the market research in house you can spin it to move your way into a dev shop. Single family and master planned community builders is a tougher sell as they usually want someone with that background, but definitely still feasible.

  9. MSRE is much more beneficial if done with 1-5 years of relevant RE experience rather than out of UG. I’d suggest networking and getting a decent entry-level job in RE so you have at least a baseline of what the industry is like. Then decide if you want to go back and get a grad degree. If you want to stay in RE, a MPRE from a top school can get you where you want to go. I speak from experience on that front. If you don’t want to stay in RE or are unsure, get an MBA which will do the same thing the MPRE will do, but also allows you to lateral to non-RE in a way the MPRE won’t. If you work while getting the degree, be prepared to have no life for 2-3 years while you grind!

  10. As someone who is making a pivot, the MSRE is helpful for sure. Learning all the macroeconomic factors that affect CRE, cap valuations, DCF modeling for different product types has all been brand new for me, especially how and why to put together different capital stacks to fund various deals… Pretty awesome shit for someone new to CRE.

    But in your case? I am going to say that it is likely a waste of time. We have a few in our cohort that have the BS in real estate and they are all pretty bored.

    I would say that if you want to work in development, and you also have a genuine passion for how land use decisions get made, then that planning degree might not be such a bad idea, especially if that program is housed in the same college as the real estate degree (for some facetime). You will get a lot more new material that you only touched upon briefly in your undergrad (urban theories of growth, competing frameworks for what planning is for, how to design transit and pedestrian friendly cities, etc). You will be the one who knows about Foucault, GIS *and* what and internal rate of return actually is saying. If you do the MSRE it will be mostly review.

    Bonus: if you end up hating the suit and tie life, you can don the hipster sweater and do a PhD in Geography. Win-win.

  11. The only way to learn real estate is to do deals and the only way to get a ‘job’ in the industry (the money is NOT in salaried positions) is networking. That being said, if your parents or trust fund is going to pay for it, it will sharpen your underwriting skills and open your horizons. I wouldn’t take on debt for these programs. Frankly, the successful MRED people I have interacted with all started with some type of family equity in CRE, so they already had assets to manage and we’re learning how to leverage them to grow a portfolio.

    You have to do what suits your personality best, but there is a lot to be said for diving in head first. I took a commission only position in brokerage and haven’t looked back, can’t even imagine doing something else.

  12. I would steer you a different direction. MBA with a focus in Real Estate (and Finance if you can do a double concentration). I have been in the commercial real estate finance (mortgage lending for a large insurance company) for approximately 15 years. I was with my company before I completed by MBA. Did it at a top tier school in a part-time program. Was it 100% necessary, maybe not, but I wouldn’t discount it. Was it easy? No. Was it expensive?. Heck yes. Do I regret it? Not a day. Would I do it again? Certainly.

    Happy to chat and make myself available. Send me a PM if I can be of help.

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