Good Morning, My name is Jessica and I have recently joined the BP community. I have read a lot of the posts in regards to people's opinions about whether or not to pursue a degree to grow my REI. There seems to be a lot of people who support accounting and finance degrees. My undergraduate degree was in Managerial and Financial Economics, but I never went into the work force with that degree. I joined the military and spent several years active before deciding I wanted to serve Veterans as my full-time job. I got my Masters of Social Work and have worked at a Vet Center for readjustment counseling for combat and military sexual trauma survivors for the past 8 years. I sort of stumbled across BP, and have gotten really excited to pursue further. I just closed on my first triplex last week. I have time left on my GIBill and want to pursue a degree which would most help me in real estate. Since I am pretty new, but have at least an idea around the 80/20 rule, if you were to pursue a Masters Degree out of the following, which would you choose? I really appreciate your taking the time to respond, Gratefully, Jess
|Accounting Finance (MS)|
|Applied Economics (MS)|
|Data Analytics (MS)|
|Investment & Securities|
|International MBA (IMBA)|
|Information Technology Management|
|Operations & Supply Chain Management|
|Social Media Marketing|
|Marketing Research Analytics|
|New Media & Communications|
|Social Media Marketing|
|Master of Business Administration (MBA)|
I think it also depends on what scale you want to ultimately shoot for in real estate.
If you just want to be an investor that has a small(ish) portfolio that supports you and your families life style then I think accounting is a fantastic tool to have in your belt. It'll help you understand how to structure things (not to mention what information you need to keep and how to keep it) for maximum benefit.
If you want to create a company and grow that company then I would advocate an MBA and Project Management. Understanding how to manage multiple projects is going to be key to building your business, and an MBA is an obvious choice also.
There are a number of state schools throughout the country that have good real estate programs. Especially in Florida and Texas. I also have a good impression of the online program from Georgetown online degree program. I believe that the program at Virginia Tech is focused on property management but I am working from memory so don't hold me to that.
I have some personal experience with the MSRE program at the University of Florida and I think it is worth taking a look at.
@Jess Hossfeld I am getting my masters in real estate (which you can pick a focus) at Georgetown. 100% online and the cost is not that bad. It's 10 classes and will cost you under $40k.
independent study and access to cash will help you more than all of these degrees put together. My finance degree has been worth ZERO in real estate.
Like Don said, there are a lot of great books out there which you can learn from. Go to your local library and make an account there. Ask about eBooks. You can get, direct from Amazon, free eBooks for 3 weeks at a time just like you are checking them out. My library lets me hold onto 10 books at a time in eBook format plus more if you get the actual book. But again, this requires you to get an account from your library that has this as an option.
My current boss is a Real Estate investor as well. He used his remainder of the GI Bill to get trained in home inspections and HVAC. He already has his RE licenses, so now he can go into a home and check it out himself prior to making an offer. Some may argue this is a better form of training as you are learning a skill related to RE investing rather than theory.
I have read several times on this forum the best education is just getting out and investing. If you make a mistake that cost a couple thousand dollars, you will really learn and better yourself for the next opportunity.
I have a PhD in Business from Real Life U and Google Search, a MBA in Marketing from Bing Search, and a BS in General Studies from Yahoo Search... #Educated :-)
If you want a corporate job building someone else's dream and a lot of student loan debt, go for it!! But if you want to work for yourself and build your dreams, its not necessary. It can definitely help you, and open some doors, but there are many, many very successful entrepreneurs who do not have MBAs or any degree for that matter. Here's a few you may be familiar with: Steve Jobs (Apple), Steve Wozniak (Apple), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Michael Dell (Dell), Richard Branson (Virgin), Charles Culpeper (CocaCola), David Geffen (Geffen Records), David Oreck (Oreck), there's many more.
First, congrats on the triplex and thank you for you service!
As the others have stated, I think it really depends on what you want to end up doing. Do you want to start and grow your own real estate business? Do you want to work full time and have a couple units to supplement your lifestyle? Or do you want to do something completely different? Answering those questions will help guide you down the right path.
With that being said, I have an undergraduate degree in accounting and I personally have seen how it has helped me in Real Estate because I understand and can compute calculations, I understand how to structure things, I understand basic taxes and business laws, etc but that doesn't mean that if I didn't have an accounting degree, I wouldn't be able to succeed.
About a year ago, I started going for my MBA. I figured it would have helped me both professionally in my full time job, as well as, within real estate. After taking a couple of classes, I decided to stop because it was hindering my Real Estate growth.
1. I had to pay for the classes myself which took money away from investing in real estate.
2. I had to put time into my classes like writing papers and once again that hindered my ability to "study" real estate.
3. I realized you don't need an MBA or masters degree to be successful in real estate. Many people on BP don't have college degrees and are absolutely killing the REI.
Since you served and can take advantage of a free education, I would totally take full advantage of that. My stance is that education is going to only help you and you should never stop learning. Just know that your short term goals might be affected.
Hopefully you find this somewhat helpful. My vote would be for something accounting or business related but I might be a little bias :) Best of luck!
You dont need degrees to be successful. You need to have a plan, then stick to it. The only reason you would need a degree would be to advance in the corporate world, and if that is your plan as a means to an end then go for it. However, if you are planning on doing your own business you would be better served devoting all that time and energy you would spend in class to learning about real estate anyway you can. I have multiple degrees in Chemistry and I only use them as means to an end (aka benefits for family and cash for deals). A masters in real estate sounds pretty worthless considering you can learn everything from internet, reading or getting a real estate license, and I know guys that dont even have a college degree that are just making silly money.
@Jess Hossfeld , First thank you for your service and congrats on getting started with investing. I agree largely with those who say experience will benefit you more than school. Most of those degrees (including an M.B.A., which I have) largely prepare you for a job in large corporate America. Yes, a working knowledge of accounting would be helpful (M.S. is way overkill), basic knowledge of finance (you can pick up here or from books), pretty much all the others up there you need a basic working knowledge. Your marketing to either find motivated sellers or sell a house is very different and a very small subset of what a M.S. in Marketing would teach you.
Of all the ones listed, if you really want to pursue a Master's to aid in your Real Estate Investing, I would look hard at Entrepreneurship. If I had it to do over (wasn't around when I got mine way back when), that is the path I would take. It should give you the working knowledge of all the subjects you will need but also work on building and executing a business plan, thinking like an entrepreneur. Porter's Five Forces Model would be something that should be taught and you would do well to look into on your own. Gives a great analysis of competition in an industry and how to develop a business strategy.
Best wishes on your journey!
Wow, thank you all for your replies. Some of you guys spoke specifically to the questions I had and I really appreciate you guys taking the time and the thoughtfulness you put into your responses. Ideas on accounting and entrepreneurship are particularly helpful... part of the benefit that going back to school would afford me is more time to focus on my real estate education. Right now I work a full-time job and if I use my G.I. Bill I'll be able to also get a monthly stipend for going back to school. I get that many people don't have college educations, and I believe in the whole idea of most colleges being businesses as well. As others have said more eloquently, everybody does this in their own way. Again, much gratitude and I hope all of you continue to experience success in pursuit of your dreams and adventures.
@Jess Hossfeld Harvard has a Real Estate Investment Graduate Certificate, offered online, that I found to be valuable. I didn't see it mentioned above.
Thank You, I will check that out...