When is a Masters in Real Estate Worth it?

When do you guys think a master's in RE is worth it?

Do you need work experience first, if so, how long before applying?

Should you get one if you didn't study RE in undergrad?

What are the reasons you did or didn't go get your masters in RE?

Comments (8)

Most Helpful
Jan 13, 2022 - 3:52pm

quick thoughts...

1. A grad degree (not specifying MSRE or MBA or whatever) is worth it when you need it to reach your career goals. It is also valuable from a competitive standpoint, meaning you have one and others don't. Reality is that since so many people get grad degrees today, it's more of a disadvantage in not having one than an advantage in having one (just reality!). Also matters what field/industry/role you are targeting long-term, and what market, some places/firms care a lot more than others (like in the northeast where everyone goes to grad school or so it seems, not near the case in the southeast). 

2. I think work experience is ideal, "ideally" at least 2/3 years, and probably better at 5+. If you do grad school really early, you will get the same job as someone out of UG a lot of the time (the upside is you may actually GET the job, so the other side of this is using grad school to get a first legit job in CRE, many do it, is it smart? hard to say).

3. I'd say MSRE/D degrees are best for people who didn't study real estate in UG (they are programmed for that audience). If you majored in RE or finance with heavy RE concentration, probably more useful to go MBA, you won't get the same degree of benefit. 

4. I got MBA because no viable local option for MSRE/D when I did it, did consider moving to do one, if I had were that same age/place today, I'd probably do a MSRE. I was already working in real estate and 100% committed to it. Will say, MBA courses were fun, but most really pointless in my career (but it was a cheap state school degree so I don't complain!). 

Jan 14, 2022 - 6:13am

OP, what is your background?

think a grad program can absolutely be worth it but would question the timing right now. This may be one of the most job markets for job seekers that we've had in our lifetimes. Talked to a friend yesterday who said he knew he was underpaid so went and interviewed w another developer and got an offer. His old firm ended up matching but in the process he received a 50% raise. Kind of hard to justify paying money to go to school in the current environment. 

do you know what you want to do? What are you doing now?

Jan 16, 2022 - 4:49pm

Speaking from personal experience, Ive decided to enroll in an MSRE program after completing 5 years of work experience. My undergraduate was in Architecture, with a minor in Construction Management, however, roughly 3 years into the program Ive decided to pivot towards Real Estate Development. Ultimately, completing my undergraduate, working for an architect that focused on condo & multi-family developments (architect/developer). Started to get involved in real estate towards the end of my undergrad, investing in multi-family fixer-uppers. 

After a few years of work experience, I realized I needed the basic understanding in real estate finance to achieve something greater then a "side hustle", which lead me to pursue the MSRE. I would only recommend an MSRE to those who are truly considering a long term career in the industry, also try and get involved in a real estate firm or gain some experience prior to the graduate program.

Ive found to have achieved a greater understanding and value from the MSRE program, due to my work experience. You are able to understand the material, and apply it to real world experience, which also leads to having valuable conversations, and asking the right questions. 

Feel free to connect with me, should you have further questions. 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jan 16, 2022 - 5:24pm

It's worth it when you have zero RE experience and are trying to break into the industry after X amount of years working.

Jan 16, 2022 - 5:45pm

I would suggest taking a course or two in order to familiarize yourself with the real estate investment and or development industry. I myself have taken courses with Joshua Khar, https://www.kahrrealestate.com/, prior to enrolling in an MSRE. If you have zero real estate experience, then you may want to make sure that real estate is something you truly want to pursue. Rather then devoting time and ton of money behind an MSRE to later find out it's not your calling, give an online or in-person course a shot. 

Actually, even prior to spending $ on courses, Id grab a book or two. My recommendations are The Real Estate Game by William J Poorvu, and or Real Estate Development and Investment: A Comprehensive Approach by Stephen P Peca (He happened to be one of my professors, coincidently).

After reading a book, and or taking a course or two, you are still interested then go for it. You do not necessarily need specifically Real Estate experience to pursue an MSRE. Try and land an internship or a job, while completing the degree, that can also be advantageous. 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jan 16, 2022 - 6:30pm

Well I didn't mean to just jump into the program with zero thought of whether you like RE. I wouldn't characterize "taking a course of two" as experience but I agree that one should to see if they like it before dumping $100K.

Jan 16, 2022 - 9:11pm

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