Is it worth going in debt for a masters in real estate program?

I graduated in August 2015 and am still looking for a job in real estate. I really started aggressively looking (i.e. talking to multiple people every day, sending out emails left and right) at the beginning of January. Prior to that I was taking some RE courses and teaching myself ARGUS while applying for jobs but not nearly as aggressively as I have been recently.

I've decided that if I don't have a job by May that I will try to enroll in a Masters in Real Estate Finance program at either Baruch or NYU. Baruch looks appealing because it is much cheaper and I wouldn't have to put myself in debt, but I know the NYU name and network is much better for a MSRE. I really didn't want to do a masters before I have a job because I know they are a lot more beneficial if you've already been working for a while but if I don't have a job by May, I don't see many other options.

So my question is this, if I got into the NYU MSRE and were able to get about a 4.0 GPA, attend networking events constantly and do internships throughout the year while I was in the program, how likely would it be that I could land an analyst position in an acquisitions type role (including Capital Markets at one of the major brokerage houses) after graduating that pays at least $70-80K? Normally the money wouldn't concern me as much but since I would have to pay off a huge debt by going to NYU, I don't think it would be worth it if I just got some back office $40-50K job after graduating.

Also, my current background is pretty weak. I have a 2.8 GPA in a humanities major from a lower ivy and no prior real estate/finance/quantitative internships. I know GPA isn't that important in some regions for real estate, but in NYC it's pretty competitive if you want an analytical role. Also, with that background, would it even be possible to secure solid internships in the NYU program if I had outstanding grades at NYU or would acquisitions/Asset Management companies look down at my shitty undergrad GPA before even giving me a chance? I would really appreciate any advice that any of you have. Thank you.

Comments (21)

6y 
TxAgCRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Are you dead set on on NYC or are you open to other markets? Just asking because there are tons of program options outside of the northeast worth considering.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson
6y 
bgc235, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm pretty dead set on NYC but would be open to LA, San Francisco, Boston or Chicago too. What other programs are you talking about? Realistically, I think NYU is the only well-regarded program that I have a shot at with my stats/experience.

6y 
CRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:
bgc235:

I'm pretty dead set on NYC but would be open to LA, San Francisco, Boston or Chicago too. What other programs are you talking about? Realistically, I think NYU is the only well-regarded program that I have a shot at with my stats/experience.

Well Boston has MIT and Harvard, but neither are really meant for zero-experience people, and San Francisco doesn't have one in particular but USC's program kills it in California. Look into that too.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
6y 
bgc235, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah I mean MIT/USC/Harvard all have way lower acceptance rates then NYU. I'm not saying they're impossible long term if I kill it in the workforce but with my credentials right now I think they're pretty out of reach.

6y 
pudding, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Before you go into debt, take this list, and try and network: http://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/gap-widens-between-rivals/

I bet if you push hard enough, you can find an opening in one of these jobs. Cushman has many different teams and usually one of them is always hiring. Some of the senior brokers have their associates do analyst type work, so of them have them run deals, and some of them only cold call. Depends on the senior. But network first. If you do the program, see my other posts on it.

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6y 
bgc235, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Okay thank you. Do you think it would be wise to reach out to multiple brokers in the same firm or do you think that might seem desperate or make me look bad?

6y 
CRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:
bgc235:

Okay thank you. Do you think it would be wise to reach out to multiple brokers in the same firm or do you think that might seem desperate or make me look bad?

Do multiple at the same time. What's the worst thing that happens - they think you really want to talk to them? You're just extending your timeframe by waiting. Time value of networking, my friend.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
5y 
creditcreditcredit, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This comment made me turn my head a bit. Are you saying some brokers want to see persistence, and/or use persistence as a gauge of potential competency? I understand banking and brokerage are different but if a kid started repeatedly emailing the RMs in my bank, they would most likely find the behavior annoying and want to talk to them even less.

I ask as a guy in banking thinking about moving into brokerage.

Best Response
5y 
CRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:
creditcreditcredit:
This comment made me turn my head a bit. Are you saying some brokers want to see persistence, and/or use persistence as a gauge of potential competency? I understand banking and brokerage are different but if a kid started repeatedly emailing the RMs in my bank, they would most likely find the behavior annoying and want to talk to them even less.

I ask as a guy in banking thinking about moving into brokerage.

I'm not pudding , but yes. Bankers and brokers are not the same people and don't do the same work.

You very much need to be a polite pest with brokers because being a polite pest is what being a broker is day to day. That's how you succeed as a broker.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 4
6y 
CRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It's hard to tell another person what's "worth it," you know? MSRE debt isn't life ruining by any means, but it is a commitment you have to take into consideration.

Do I think a humanities major with 2.8 who is struggling to break into the industry would be well served by a MSRE? You bet. You would definitely have more success than you are now. Are you correct in that even getting one year of experience before you start would dramatically improve your chances and/or type of role you graduate with? Of course.

I am interested in your approach in finding jobs, though. The market is fantastic right now. It shouldn't be "August to February" difficult in getting hired.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
6y 
bgc235, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'll send you a PM to explain. I would be curious to hear your advice if you have any on how I could change my approach.

6y 
TxAgCRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're open to the southeast, look at Florida, Texas A&M, and Clemson.

"There are only two opinions in this world: Mine and the wrong one." -Jeremy Clarkson
6y 
CRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:
CREF1524:

I've heard fantastic things about Florida's program. I heard they place well all over the east coast. Any truth to this?

I'm not as familiar with their placement, but I know they have a very solid internal job board. Tons of Florida grads out there too to network with.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • 1
6y 
Fidel_Cashflow, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Would recommend A&M if looking to work in TX.

C.R.E.A.M.
6y 
bgc235, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Does anyone have any insight on NYU's program and its placement for someone in my situation? I'm planning on staying in New York.

  • 1
6y 
mrcheese321, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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