Certs for CRE - CFA vs MBA vs *Your suggestion here*

weaksaus's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 163

Hi guys,

I'm an analyst for a wholesale SBA shop in Southern California. 99% of what we do is owner occupied real estate. I spent a few years in financial services sales post undergrad before working for a BDO as a contract analyst which eventually led to me becoming a full time credit analyst / underwriter for a bank here in California. While I was there I also got involved with some investment deals that were really intriguing, but I don't get to see much over $10-15MM where I am now.

Being young and childless, even after working my 50-60 a week, I still have some time I'd like to devote to professional development. Unfortunately, the bank I am with is not fond of any sort of outside compensation, that has anything to do with real estate or finance (which was my original plan for my spare time).

I've always been very interested in getting a MBA, or some sort of certification related to this field beyond a Bachelors in Bus Management. Which brings me to my question - What is the most effective for a career in CRE?

Now I know this is a common question, and I've read most of the threads I could find. I can go back to school while working full time to a decent MBA program here in Southern California (UCLA, USC, Etc.) Some friends of mine have suggested I start going after the CFA, most all of them are in Asset Management or IB, though.

Those two, MBA and CFA, have been a big focus of my research. So, what I am looking for is opinions on either of the above for someone looking to develop a career in CRE.

OR - anything else. RE/Brokerage license - CCIM - CPM - CAIA - NMLS - Insert your suggestion here

I'm a quick study but haven't had much luck in terms of solid recommendations from CRE professionals, so I've spent a decent amount of time researching what each of these are, time required, cost, etc., just am unsure of how they'd apply to a career years or decades from now.

Any and all advice appreciated

Comments (2)

Nov 29, 2017

I think experience trumps all in this industry. A deal sheet with a list of your previous transactions and a strong network is better than extra letters next to your name imo.

Best Response
Dec 4, 2017
    • 2