Hi WSO, been lurking on these forums for some time and have just made this account to ask for help.
25 yr old, graduated 2015 from an architecture program in Florida and immediately realized I wanted to get to development instead. I want to decide what gets built and why, raise the funds, pitch the ideas to investors, and hire a team to make it happen - as an architect all I can do is decide what a building looks like, and even that isn't always in my hands. I am about 6 months to a year from finishing my architect license and other credentials before the career switch and in that time period I would like to come up with a game plan of how to tackle the change.
Unfortunately I have taken close to no finance / economics in my undergrad degree so I am thinking I should get a Masters in Real Estate Development while working part-time or find some other way to develop those skills and work for a developer. The issue with getting a masters is that with reputable degrees costing anywhere between $60,000 - $150,000, I cannot foot all of that student debt only to wind up with an analyst position when I already make $52,000 as an architect. My savings are rather meager and I can't really go flipping homes in the super competitive and over-gentrified Miami market I find myself in. I have picked the brains of some of the developers I've met at work / Urban Land Institute events and their answers to this question vary from "get a brokers license" to "just go and do it" to "get an MBA" and frankly the more I ask the more confused I get.
Goal: Real Estate Development Manager position at a medium - large firm, preferably on the West Coast
Skills: Some project management, mostly construction related and permitting. Understanding of construction materials and process, contracts etc, as well as what a property needs to be / look like to be usable, comfortable and conforming to zoning & other codes.
TL,DR: young and ambitious but cash-strapped and in the wrong field