Thoughts on getting into real estate development with an urban planning degree?

I just got into an ivy league urban planning masters program, focusing in public-private partnerships. My goal is to get into real estate development, starting in acquisitions in a national firm and eventually become a developer. As for my background, I have only had real estate experiences with smaller firms/non-profits and I was an urban studies major undergrad.

Would this program prepare me for a job in acquisitions and give me an edge in the recruiting process? Also, what other jobs in real estate could one obtain after completing this program?

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Feb 20, 2019 - 11:10pm
axre12:

I just got into an ivy league urban planning masters program, focusing in public-private partnerships. My goal is to get into real estate development, starting in acquisitions in a national firm and eventually become a developer. As for my background, I have only had real estate experiences with smaller firms/non-profits and I was an urban studies major undergrad.

Would this program prepare me for a job in acquisitions and give me an edge in the recruiting process? Also, what other jobs in real estate could one obtain after completing this program?

If your goal is to get into development, why is the plan to start in acquisitions?

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Feb 20, 2019 - 11:43pm

MBA > any other MS for development (assuming T20 or M7 school)

Look at the guys at Related, Tishman, Hines, etc. Many have MBA's from M7 schools. I think you'd probably have some good options but Urban Planning majors also tend to get hired in city planning/economic development type of jobs from what I've seen.

Basically, the value of most masters programs is the network. The Penn MS in urban planning alumni/classmates probably won't be as beneficial in the long run compared to the Wharton MBA. Same with Columbia. This is just my opinion though - haven't done a ton of research on urban planning degrees.

Id do an MBA at a Darden, UNC, etc. over the MS in urban planning

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Feb 21, 2019 - 8:06am
axre12:

I just got into an ivy league urban planning masters program, focusing in public-private partnerships. My goal is to get into real estate development, starting in acquisitions in a national firm and eventually become a developer. As for my background, I have only had real estate experiences with smaller firms/non-profits and I was an urban studies major undergrad.

Your urban studies undergrad is a good entry point, but by going to an urban planning masters program, you are doubling down on urban planning, not making a transition. Employers woul be concerned both with your intentions (you'd look like you're a city planner who realized you don't want to only make $40k a year) and your financial or construction aptitude (because your resume will show none.)

Your best bet is to work for a year as a city planner or something using your urban studies major, or try and get into an analyst role, and then either progress within that analyst role or apply to MRED, MSRE, or MBA programs.

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