If you're currently a student who dreams of having a real estate career, you may be wondering if you need a graduate degree. While ultimately the decision is a personal one, some industry professionals do complete an MBA program or get their Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE).
With that in mind, here is a closer look at the pros and cons to the MSRE program. Keep reading to learn whether enrolling in one of these programs might be the right choice for you.
What is a Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE)?
As the name suggests, a Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) is a master's degree with a real estate specialization. These graduate-level programs are offered through a variety of colleges and universities and are open to those who already have an undergraduate degree. Depending on which school you attend, MSRE courses might also be referred to as a Master in Real Estate Development (MSRED) or simply a Real Estate Development (RED) program.
While completing an MSRE program is not an absolute requirement to succeed as a real estate professional, depending on the direction you ultimately want your real estate career to take, having one may open up more career opportunities for you. In particular, many industry leaders have this degree to their names.
What are the benefits of getting an MSRE?
Now that you have an idea of what this graduate degree is, the next step is to weigh the potential benefits of completing an MRED program. With that in mind, we've laid them out below for your consideration.
You'll have a higher earning potential
While the real estate industry has a particularly large income range in and of itself, having a real estate degree, specifically one at the graduate level, will make you more employable in higher-end sectors. For example, you could be a viable candidate for jobs in commercial real estate development, where the salary range is $110,000-$180,000 per year.
You'll have a built-in knowledge base
Since an MRED program has a real estate concentration, many of the core curriculum and elective courses will focus on learning how to handle various situations and problems that are unique to real estate. While a real estate agent without the same degree may have to learn on the fly and rely solely on guidance from their broker, you'll have the benefit of learning how to deal with these issues in a protected classroom setting.
You'll have a network of connections
While you're completing your real estate development program. you'll likely connect with other MSRE students. Once you've graduated, those connections will translate into a network of peers with whom you may be able to collaborate in the future.
What are the possible disadvantages of getting an MSRE?
There is a chance that a master's degree with a real estate concentration may not be the right choice for you. To that end, we've laid out the possible disadvantages of going this route. Be sure to weigh them as you make your decision.
You don't necessarily need one to be a real estate professional
The truth is, if your main goal is to be a real estate broker or agent, you don't necessarily need to go to graduate school to make it happen. In fact. you don't even really need an undergraduate degree to work in the real estate market. All you need to do is pass your state's real estate exam.
This degree is mainly for those who are looking to achieve very specialized career opportunities, like real estate development, real estate finance, real estate valuation, and urban planning.
It's an investment of time and money
Similar to every graduate program, MSRE students are expected to commit to making a substantial investment of time and money in order to earn their degree. If you have a lot of other financial or time commitments that need your attention right now, it may not be the best time to start an MRED program or MBA program.
The bottom line
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to complete a graduate-level real estate program is a personal one. You need to weigh your career goals with the investment of time and money that's required from a graduate student. There is really no wrong answer in this case.