RE post grad certificates from Cornell or MIT worth it?

I am a bit non traditional. I am 30 year old about to finish MSF with a 4.0. I got a degree in economics back in 2013 but have wasted 7 years of my life doing IT consulting after I took the first job I could get at JP Morgan.

I don't actually have to worry about landing a job. My family runs a REIT family office and I decided to sell my soul to my douchebag of a family for the money, just to give most of it to my cousins who don't even work. My father thinks IT people are worthless scumbags so he made me get this MSF to prove to him I am not a scumbag.

Only issue this MSF has been more like IB boot camp. Heavy emphasis on corporate finance and case studies. Also heavy dose of portfolio management. I've barely touched RE. For the sake of learning someone useful has anyone done the Ivy League RE post grad "boot camps"Or maybe I'll just give WSO some money for once and take their RE modeling course.

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Comments (8)

May 29, 2021 - 2:20pm

What distinguishes corporate finance from IB just for my own knowledge. I've had a class where I spent a whole semester doing capital budgeting project valuations from an internal perspective. Then I also spent a semester doing M&A, carve out valuations, etc from an external perspective. I would consider those both a subset of corporate finance but not necessarily related.

May 29, 2021 - 4:10pm

So, to be clear, you don't care about the "certification" as you have a job at the family office, you are just looking for RE knowledge? If that is the case, I'd probably just go with the various online courses on modeling and the ones from the industry orgs.... like NAIOP/ULI/CCIM. The certificate classes at places like MIT, NYU, Cornell may not be a bad option either. 

Also, did you think the MSF would cover real estate? I've never heard of one that does, they tend to "stay in their lane" and be hyper focused on finance. Are you hoping to leave this family biz? If so, getting the more formal certificates may be worth the time/money, but don't expect anyone to really care all that much, but on the margin, can't hurt. 

May 29, 2021 - 4:17pm

Just for the knowledge. The MSF has been just for the knowledge as well, as I have spent 7 years in IT consulting. My family isn't just involved in real estate. Their are trusts and such. The MSF is more for my personal ability to talk and solve financial problems as a knowledge base. But I need to find a way to gain real estate valuation skills is why I'm asking about the certificate. The MIT and Cornell courses seem exactly what I need to learn and too the point. I'm not going to use it to try and land a job.

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Jun 1, 2021 - 2:53pm

Canadian RE guy on debt side here. post grad certs are fairly common if you're not doing CFA. We do it online through UBC (Diploma of Urban Land Economics). There's other post grad certs but they're more for appraisal. I've also seen the NYU one so maybe check that out?  

Jun 1, 2021 - 9:22pm

I did the Cornell CRE certificate program when I had 4 years of RE experience under my belt and it wasn't super helpful. It was pretty rudimentary and many of the students were hopeful career-switchers and undergrad overachievers. I only did it because my company paid for it. You'd probably get some value out of it if you're totally new to the industry though. Hard to recommend paying $3,000+ out of your own pocket for it. Let me know if you have any specific questions. 

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