University of Colorado Masters of Science Real Estate

8 Replies

Hello Bigger Pockets Community,

I'm looking at making a career change from the Air Force into Real Estate. I'm about a year out from transitioning from the military and I'm looking at attending the University of Colorado Boulder to earn my MS in Real Estate. I was hoping to get some insight from anyone that got their Masters in Real Estate and learn about how it was and if it helped you land the job that you wanted or helped you go out on your own. Also, any advise from veterans that made a career change into real estate would be extremely helpful. Thank you!

Hi Kevin, thank you for your service and congrats on looking into real estate as a career, it's an interesting profession that puts you in the path of all sorts of people and situations (I mean this in a good way :).

I have not looked into any graduate courses in real estate, but speaking from 20+ years of experience in real estate (and two college degrees in other stuff) I really think the best way to get into real estate is just to get into real estate. 

It's true that there's a lot to know and many agents enter the field not knowing things that are important, but I also don't think you're likely to get the right kind of instruction about those things in a college classroom. I could be wrong.

Can you find an opportunity to shadow an agent or somehow spend some time actually around agents who are working to get a feel for what skills and knowledge you'll need? 

RE is a weird field because you need to be competent, and you also need people to know you're competent. Which means you need to become skillful with marketing, in addition to learning a lot about how to actually do the work. It's easy to end up specializing in just one or the other of those two crucial skills. :)

I'm happy to answer any specific questions, and either way, good luck!

@Kevin Taylor Talk to a number of graduates of the program, see what they are doing post-graduation, and decide whether you want a similar path.  I highly doubt you will find many many graduates of such programs here on BP, which makes the forum a less-valuable resource for assessing the opportunity.  Good luck!

@Kevin Taylor I'll echo @Irene Nash - there is no degree that will teach you more than the actual experience of just getting started doing real estate and honestly a Masters degree won't qualify you more than other investors. Being a successful real estate investor starts with building solid relationships, experience through actually doing deals, and knowledge based on experience (not on a degree). My advice would be to really consider what you want to do within the real estate realm and  then go surround yourself with those that are doing it and just start. You don't need to pay for a Masters degree to be a real estate investor. I'd be happy to help with any questions you have about transitioning out of the military and into real estate as well. 

@Kevin Taylor I looked into Georgetown's real estate masters program (which can be done completely online - a bonus for me) but ultimately decided the time spent doing that program would be better spent continuing to work on my own real estate business, for reasons stated above. It seems like the RE masters programs are ideal for folks who want to work in big commercial real estate companies. If that describes what you want to do, then I would reach out to alumni of a few programs and get their opinions. Find out what they're doing now and what their fellow alumni are doing now. Are they glad they did the program? Also, I wouldn't go into any debt to do the masters either. Do you still have your GI bill you could use to pay for it?

Best of luck and let us know what you decide. 

I looked at DU's program for quite some time and ultimately decided that experience was better than some initials after my name. However their network is incredible here in town from what I hear. If you are going to work with one of the big commercial brokers as an analyst or something, then it could help. But as mentioned above, speak with alumni to see if it's really necessary for what you want to do. 

@Kevin Taylor new real estate agent here, I currently work with investors in the Bay Area and Central Valley, CA and one thing I noticed is majority of them do not have a MS in Real Estate and if they do have a degree it’s not in real estate. Most actually transition out of their chosen career to venture into this industry. If you’re going to college for security, and to work for someone else, do it. You don’t need it to be successful.

Thank you everyone for your help and advise. I am starting to see the different points of views and you guys have definitely given me things to think about. Thank you for the encouragement.

When it comes to getting a degree, it stems mostly from not wanting to waste my GI Bill benefits. Getting to go to school for free seems awesome but like a lot of you said it does not make up for experience and the time cost might be more expensive in the long run. So I might pass the benefits off to my kid but I'll learn all about that with my upcoming transition assistants class.

Thank you all for the advise. I'll definitely be reaching out to a few of you for more questions.

Originally posted by @Kevin Taylor :

When it comes to getting a degree, it stems mostly from not wanting to waste my GI Bill benefits. Getting to go to school for free seems awesome but like a lot of you said it does not make up for experience and the time cost might be more expensive in the long run. So I might pass the benefits off to my kid but I'll learn all about that with my upcoming transition assistants class.

I didn't know you could transfer those. Really cool! If we are picking up the tab, you should definitely go then. It will open doors and opportunities. On the other hand, passing it off is tempting as well. Thank you for your service!