BBA Real Estate vs. BBA Finance vs. BBA CIS

r.d.racz's picture
Rank: Chimp | 6

Hey how's it going everyone?

First off I want to say that although this is my first post here, I frequently browse through these forums in search of career info. I think this is a great community that is defiantly one of a kind.

Background info:
- Upper Junior at CUNY Baruch (Zicklin Business
School), NYC
- As of this semester(Fall 2011) I decided that Accounting was going to be my career path. Everything on paper made it seem like the most logical step forward. Job security, potential to make a somewhat good living, a clear path(undergrad->150 credits->CPA exam), and the fact that my school has a reputable Acct program was also a plus. At this point and time ( summer '11) I only had my major classes to complete along with a handful of other misc. classes.

To make a long story short I recently made the decision that Accounting is def. not for me. Not only are the classes tougher than I had anticipated, it is something that i had very little interest for, as I very quickly found out.

Issue: I am now in a situation where I have decided to switch my major. IMO my options are fairly limited bc of the weak job market at the moment. At this point and time I have pretty much narrowed it down to either CIS Finance or Real Estate. When I look at the courses for each of these majors I feel like the material taught in the RE courses overlaps with alot of the finance material. I actually have an interest in both so I was thinking a BBA in real estate with the possibility of an MBA Finance in the future could be a good possibility?

Which major will provide me with more exit oppurtunities? I don't want to be a "glorified salesman" as one of my professors puts it by graduating with a Finance major in these times.

The following was obtained from my schools website about career info for a RE major. however I wanted to get the community's opinion on how solid/realistic these careers are.

Investment Banking
For students interested in both real estate and investment banking, a career in Real Estate Investment Banking is a good option. Most banks have groups that are dedicated to real estate and whose main functions are to manage and invest in that asset class and to extend financing to developers and other borrowers. These banks may securitize mortgage loans by pooling them and repackaging them for sale as commercial mortgage-backed securities or collateralized mortgage obligations. They may also provide advisory and investment management services to real estate companies and investors.

Major Wall Street players in real estate finance and related activities include Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Lehman Brothers.

Mortgage Brokers
Mortgage brokers are real estate financing professionals acting as intermediaries between consumers and lenders during mortgage transactions. A mortgage broker works with consumers to help them through the complex mortgage origination process. Typically, a broker has a working relationship with numerous banks and other lenders, providing the consumer with access to hundreds of options when it comes to financing a home. This allows mortgage brokers to provide consumers the most efficient and cost-effective method of obtaining a mortgage that fits the consumer's financial goals and circumstances.

Real Estate Analyst
Real Estate Analyst is a typical entry-level position with firms that do lending, commercial brokerage, appraisal, development, and institutional investment. Analysts perform assessments to determine real estate value during changing market and economic conditions. Ultimately, analysts move up to develop deals, make loans, or write appraisals.

Commercial Real Estate
Real estate sales associates work for brokers in marketing office buildings, hotels, and other commercial real estate for property owners. Starting associates typically obtain a real estate sales person's license. After the requisite experience and supervision, they may apply for a broker's license. Several trade organizations represent the various commercial real estate subspecialties including the AIR Commercial Real Estate Association (AIR) at, the American Motel Hotel Brokers (AMHB) Network at, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) at, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) at, the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) at, and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) at

Corporate Real Estate
Corporate real estate professionals are employed by firms to provide in-house, site-selection, and development expertise. This requires knowledge of the firm's product, the demographics it serves, and the linkages the firm requires to its customers and suppliers. Site selection experts must understand urban growth patterns, transportation linkages, and market analysis. In addition, they need to be able to assess market values in order to negotiate reasonable purchase prices on behalf of their employer. These types of jobs are often found with growing businesses that are continually confronted with site-selection decisions. Typically, firms like fast food restaurants, convenience store franchisers, supermarkets, and retailers are prospective employers for corporate real estate specialists. The trade association is the Corporate Real Estate Network (CoreNet Global) at

Real Estate Appraisal
Real estate appraisers provide unbiased estimates of a property's value and quality. Appraisers usually work for banks or for appraisal firms and will normally value properties by finding comparable sales in an area.

For more information, go to The Appraisal Foundation at
Property Management
Leading real estate owners require professional property managers. Managers are responsible for negotiating leases, ensuring that tenants are satisfied, that rent is paid, and that rents reflect market conditions. Property managers require good interpersonal, analytical, and negotiating skills. The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) is the trade association representing property managers. Their training programs include the Certified Property Manager (CPM) and Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) designations. The IREM web site is at Another valuable source of information is the Building Owners Managers Association (BOMA) International at

Real Estate Entrepreneur/Developer
Developers buy, upgrade, and sell properties. An entrepreneur is a generalist with an eye for opportunity, the ability to analyze current and future market conditions, and the people skills to make and close deals. Please visit the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at for more information about residential development. Additional information about commercial development can be found on the Urban Land Institute (ULI) web page at, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) at, and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) at

Leasing Agent
Leasing agents are real estate sales associates or brokers who specialize in finding tenants for landlords or finding tenants properties that fit their needs.

Asset Management
Asset managers work for pension funds, life insurance companies, syndications, or real estate investment trusts (REITs) as liaisons between investors and their real estate investments. They are involved in strategic decision-making regarding the design of the investor's real estate portfolio, individual property purchases, and property dispositions. They contract with property management firms, appraisers, and real estate advisory firms on behalf of their investors; and they make periodic reports to investors regarding the performance of their property portfolios. Go to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) at and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NAREIF) at

The job of real estate lending requires a solid knowledge of lending regulations, loan documentation, loan underwriting, construction, development, accounting for draws against the loan during construction, and permanent loan commitments. In addition, construction loan officers need to assess project feasibility and probability of the builder/developer being able to complete a project on time and within budget. Mortgage banking is another aspect of real estate lending. The Mortgage Bankers Association of America's (MBA) at represents the mortgage banking industry.

Residential Real Estate Agent/Broker
Real estate agents and brokers are usually independent sales professionals who contract their services to real estate brokers in exchange for a commission-sharing agreement. To become a broker, you must be at least 18 years old, a high school graduate and have passed a written test on property laws and real estate transactions. Most states also require 30-90 hours of classroom training. For more information on residential brokerage, visit the National Association of Realtor's web page at, the NYS Association of Realtors (NYSAR) at or the Council of Residential Specialists (CRS) at

Thanks for your time and I apologize for the lengthy post,


Comments (14)

Nov 14, 2011

How's it going? Shitty, now.

Nov 14, 2011

You don't want to be a "glorified salesmen"..? Being a "Glorified salesmen" is all finance is about. Salesmen bring in clients (read - money) and get compensated accordingly. Unless you're actually trading your own p/l I suggest you hone your sales skills because their crucial to 1) advancing 2) making real money.

Sorry I didn't read past the glorified salesmen comment, good luck getting a job.

Jul 5, 2015

lol "tell da truth"

****how high reference

Nov 14, 2011

Thanks for the quick responses.

@flake- thanks for your response. And are you saying there isn't really any advantage in terms of job availability when comparing one to the other?

@Sean518- Thanks, gl to you too. I think you misunderstood, i'm not saying "sales skills" aren't important, i was simply saying that in my position i don't want to end up selling insurance etc.

Nov 14, 2011

Condense that into 2 paragraphs and I'll give it a go.

Nov 14, 2011

^ haha, from "investment banking" on, i just posted different career possibilities within RE. Hopefully someone on here could shed some light on which paths are best in terms of entry level jobs.

Nov 14, 2011

^yea i was surprised as well. Thanks alot for the threads i will def. check them out!

Nov 14, 2011

Go into development and be a real baller. I live well outside of a major market and the father of a kid I went to school with pulls down mid 8 figures a year between him and his brother. They built up a serious business together though, they own 35 dunkin doughnuts and lease out in the ball park of 1 million square feet on top of that. The kid is really personable to so I hate him even more for being born into that shit.

Nov 15, 2011

boss. so development + franchising? both require $$$ and development is slow now

Nov 16, 2011

There isn't much development going on now, it'd probably be tough to find a job in that. Asset management might be a decent bet until (hopefully) the economy picks up.

  • Commuter
  •  Nov 17, 2011

rdracz message me and I can meet up with you around the main campus and I'll give you some guidance since that school's career center stinks. (my time is semi flexible)

Nov 17, 2011

"Major Wall Street players in real estate finance and related activities include Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Lehman Brothers."

Who's doing the site updating over there?

Seriously though I would never major in "real estate" just does not seem diversified enough for a resume if you ever want to leave that business. If I were your parent I would force you to finish accounting if you started in business. Finance is ok but it is true that accounting is the language of business, if you can tough it out you will be well prepared.

Oct 17, 2012