Promote or Masters degree ?

Hi everyone,

I have received an offer to start a new job at a REPE firm that offers a really good comp with a share on the promote.

The offer landed from nowhere as I was on my way to start in September the Real Estate Investment MSc at BAYES (formerly CASS). My objective with the master is to reset my career after +7 years working mainly on the reporting of one asset class and take 1 year to bridge the gaps in my knowledge (no background in RE, learnt everything on the job). Also, I'm interested in accessing the school's great network to target big players and/or other roles/asset classes in the sector. 

The new role is mainly reporting and in line with what I've been doing so far. This is why I'm so undecided: whilst the comp is very generous (they have closed some really good deals this year and I will get a slice on the profits) I feel that I would be trapped in the same role for a couple of years more, missing the opportunity of shifting/pivoting my career to other more interesting roles.

I have asked around and I have received mixed feedback, the main answers were: "At this point in your career a masters is overrated and won't add much value to your CV, you can pivot without accomplishing one" and "If you're unhappy with the kind of role you're offered, more money won't solve your frustration so you'd better do the masters". 

What do you guys think? I'm really struggling to make a decision.

Thank you so much in advance.

Comments (13)

Aug 8, 2022 - 9:19am
crerepe21, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well if you only want to go to grad school to change your career, then you don't seem too happy in your current role. Money is great (especially getting promote relatively early in your career), but life is too short to spend the majority of your day everyday miserable for the large portion of your life. Not sure you would need a MSRE to transition to a role that you would want, but potentially reach out to someone in a job you want and see what they would think. Real Estate is one industry that people can lateral without the need to get advanced degrees, and I have seen people without masters degrees transition from a controller/accounting career path to acquisitions in a few years (granted they had a short stint in AM first before making the full switch). Like everything on this site, the phrase "it depends" is probably the best answer anyone can give you. It's going to be what's best for you and a bunch of anonymous strangers aren't going to be able to give you the best advice for you and your family lol 

Aug 8, 2022 - 1:56pm
REPE_Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Fair enough, thank you both crerepe21 and pudding. At this point I'm collecting as much inputs as I can (even from strangers :p) but will ultimately follow my gut feeling on this one as there doesn't seem to be an obvious decision to make. Thanks again !

Most Helpful
  • Associate 1 in ER
Aug 9, 2022 - 5:54am

did a similar path after 3 years exp and left a promote offer from old firm to do an MSc

the way i rationalized it was as follows:

- I would always look back and regret not taking the opportunity, if not in 1 year but in 5, or 10 years when I'm stuck in this role and its now not possible to switch careers (because of professional, family reasons or a combo). fortune favours the bold and all that

- Failure is ok. If you take a year or two out to try a new career path only for it not to work out and go back to what you were previously doing, it wont harm your chances to get back into your current role. Once you have done something in finance, you are in the club and can return. People will respect your decision to try something new. Many people do this and in the end doing a MSc will only make you more 'valuable'.

I havent looked back after taking a similar path. My advice if you do, be patient and stick to it because it might take 3-6 months (possible longer) after graduating to find a job, but you wont regret it 5 years down the line when you're enjoying your new role!

Aug 18, 2022 - 1:06pm
REPE_Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you very much, that's an excellent way to summarise the arguments in favour which are more subjective than those that are against. Out of curiosity: what were you doing (do not need to be super specific) and for what MSc did you go for?

Many thanks ! 

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Sep 2, 2022 - 4:37am
REPE_Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Update on the decision : I'm going for the masters in the end. I've followed this rationale : I'm planning to spend my career in this sector. If there are headwinds, the damage will be over the short-medium term because it's a resilient asset class. So the masters is a long term bet. The cost opportunity is losing cash over the next 2 years against ensuring a durable career in the sector thanks to a structured training and the possibility to access more interesting roles.

  • Assist. VP in IB - Gen
Sep 4, 2022 - 5:50pm

I vote for the RE Master's as it is/has now become almost a requirement to advance in many firms (especially in all major re industry cities) and the network (if you tend to it regularly and dutifully, and it is sufficiently local to your practice area) will exponentially help your career in a way that is not quantifiable like a one-off promote. Also, if you were able to secure a promote (kudos to you) before, you will likely be able to do it again.

Sep 5, 2022 - 5:46am
REPE_Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

AspiringSage I work in the UK. I've tagged the US as well albeit the job market dynamics can be different, it's always good to have a wide range of opinions to make a decision. 

Also, if you were wondering why I went for Cass (Bayes), the main reason being the curriculum. Cambridge and LSE are great names to have in a CV but the curriculum is too academic and I'd rather spend time modelling than reading papers.

  • Assist. VP in IB - Gen
Sep 5, 2022 - 1:01pm

This is a sound perspective. A RE MS should be hyper-practical in the real-world skills it imparts and give an actionable (and ideally long-term, evergreen) professional network in your backyard. Sounds like you found both in Cass! Congrats/Cheers.

Sep 6, 2022 - 4:59am
REPE_Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you very much ! Once the program completed I will update this thread with a detailed feedback on my experience there. 

Sep 13, 2022 - 7:57am
lolcakes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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