Master of Finance vs. MSRED for REIT/REIB Career Post-Grad

How does a 1 year Master of Finance/MSF program compare to a 2 year MBA-Finance program?

My background is non-business and I have been working in commercial construction project mgmt since graduating in May 2012. Looking to pursue REIB/REIT work after grad school and curious which curriculum would offer the greatest ROI.

What about MSRED (Real Estate Dev) vs. MSF?

Comments (14)


The MSF is very specialized so you learn a lot, but the MBA is still the king when it comes to working professionals. If you have 3-5 years of work experience I would suggest you go the MBA route.

An MSF is good for those looking to break into finance, fix a GPA or because you just love finance. Otherwise go the more traditional route.

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Greatest ROI would definitely be an MBA then get a Summer Associate role at an IB and get FT but it depends what you want to do as a career really.


My only concern with going for the MBA now is you can't do an MBA twice. With no pre-MBA finance experience, I've read quite a bit that outlines the resistance one faces in trying to break in post MBA. For this reason, I am question the role of the MSF as an interim graduate degree, where one could work 2-3 years as an RE analyst/capital markets type position and use that newly gained finance experience to pursue a top tier MBA. Does this sound crazy for a non-business undergrad?


I've also been doing some research here as I'm thinking about a similar transition. I can't seem to find the related posts right now, but I think users @"Relinquis" @"re-ib-ny" @"Pinkpoloshorts" have given some good insights into this in the past.

If you look at the top brass or even those at the associate and VP level in REIB, REIT, REPE, you'll see they have backgrounds in finance, are probably CPAs, and probably did not come from RE development. I think an MBA from a top program with a focus in finance would be the best way in. Wharton has a strong real estate program, and even a mentorship program through its Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center. I don't know how many of these students end up in REIT/REIB/REPE vs development, but I imagine they would have those resources/contacts available to them to get there.


For an example, check out the real estate VPs at Blackstone.


Have you considered development oriented REITs or large developers? Coming from project management, there is probably a solid story you could spin to break in with those companies. What tier MBA/MSF programs would you realistically be eligible to get in to?

Crazy Lloyd Braun:

Have you considered development oriented REITs or large developers? Coming from project management, there is probably a solid story you could spin to break in with those companies. What tier MBA/MSF programs would you realistically be eligible to get in to?

Those are the types of companies I feel my skill set matches most closely with. MSF was an idea; I'm in Arizona and ASU offers an MSF which I could see doing along with some RE finance internship if possible. Majority opinion has said MBA. MSRED programs catch my eye too.

I'm mid-GMAT prep but I plan to apply to the following (assuming 700+ GMAT):
--1 year MSRED/MRED programs: Columbia, MIT, USC
--2 year MBA RE/Finance - UC Berkeley (Haas), UCLA (Ziman), NYU (Stern)

ASU is in state, UT Austin is #17 US News, but for the cost I plan to go to the best school I can get into :/


@"Crazy Lloyd Braun" was admitted into USC Marshall and UT McCombs last week. Sorry for the long delay--waiting to hear from UCLA Anderson, UNC Kenan-Flagler, and Columbia. Would targeting a REIB summer internship provide the most benefit for career prospects post grad? I like development and investment and would like to work for a well capitalized PERE firm doing development deals someday.


Congrats. You should try to do the dual MBA/MSRE at USC if possible... I would target REIB.


REIB out of bschool, you make bank.


@odog808 how does one pursue REIB out of b school and end up doing development? Would like to do small urban mixed use projects someday


I haven't worked in REIB but I know total comp can be very good in this market for associates post-MBA for a top tier REIB. However, you will be seen as overhead and not sure how much job security that is in a downturn.

Hypothetically, I would make the transition from REIB to development by:
1) touting my firm grasp of markets, players, deals, capital markets, relationships. Associate level you would probably be more behind the scenes with most of the client interaction at the VP and SVP level.
2) there a couple thoughts about REIB since I see firms doing project level brokering and the portfolio sale broker dealer type work, recapitalizations, bond issuance on the corporate level. That's pretty diverse. So I'll just focus more on the property level transactions that is closer to brokerage.
3) I would work for a development company that values financial modeling skills. That's your in. These types of firms will mold you into a developer over time. You want to work for a firm that does not just pay lip service in making you into a developer. Many development firms are very siloed with acquisitions, entitlements, construction, operations, capital markets, and dispositions all handed off. You want to work for a firm where development controls everything. Many of the big REITs are structured like this (silos).


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