What degree would benefit a real estate investor the most?

14 Replies

I am curious to see what people think the most useful degree would be for a real estate investor. I believe nothing beats real life experience of getting your hands dirty. However, if an investor was going to get a university degree which one would be the most beneficial?



As you said, nothing beats real life experience. With that being said, I think an accounting or finance degree would be great. You get familiar with looking at financials and you develop technical skills that come in handy when it comes to evaluating financial performance of a property.

IMHO the most beneficial degree for a real estate investor (vs. someone working a real estate related job) is one that results in a steady, high-paying job.  Engineering, science, and technology.

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Hey @Taylor Green  

In my opinion, I believe you could make a case about several different degrees out there being beneficial primarily because real estate is so multifaceted that knowledge from different disciplines in one way or another can aid in helping your investment decisions. In my mind though there are three degrees that I think have the most direct relation to real estate investing (sorry I can't pick just one lol) and they are: 

(1)Economics- Real estate like all businesses, is affected by the happenings on both a macro and microeconomic scale. Being able to understand at least at a fundamental level the underlying reasons as to why the market is heading in the direction that they are as well as what is driving your specific market/area and also the principles of supply and demand is essential in the due diligence process when selecting an area to invest in. 

(2) Psychology- Real estate is a people business! If you can communicate and understand people and the motivations behind their actions (ie. why they buy and sell, or why people tend to follow the crowd in investment choices), you are likely to see success. A growing field in this area is Behavioural Economics and within that you can find research and books on Investor Psychology which is all very interesting and exciting if you're into that stuff! (Disclaimer: I am a proud owner of a psychology degree :)

(3) Business (Real Estate Specialization)- This is probably the most obvious one. It can likely provide you with opportunities to meet professors who have actually have experience investing and other students who may end up as investors as well (networking). Some other benefits are that it can give you an understanding on basic accounting principles, knowledge on how to operate a business, insight on how to protect yourself from legal liability (business law) and others depending on the structure of the program your school has set.

Lots of options and lots of possibilities to apply almost anything you learn in school to the business.  

I second @Jon Holdman that an steady income stream is really helpful in starting in real estate unless there is inherited wealth to work with in the start up phase. This also provides a solid backup plan, critical problem solving skills and hands on attitude. Engineering mechanics and science related fields with a minor or double major in economics related fields.

I think there are degrees that specialize in RE. I have a finance degree, but I only use what I learned from a couple classes regularly (getting to NPV from a future income stream). What do you love to do? Getting a science or engineering degree, for instance, just to make money isn't enough reason for me. The beauty of REI is anyone can do it. I do it because I love helping sellers and tenants. Be good at what you love and success will follow!

LOL, James hit it.....LAW! But you also need specialization in RE and finance.

Finance includes accounting. Accounting is the language of business, finance is the money.

Financing is the key to the doors of real estate.

A law degree keeps the finance guys from ripping them off, keeps opportunities rolling in, provides an income to finance deals, puts you in a position to act as a partner cutting expenses of larger transactions (like hotels, motels, shopping centers, office buildings, residential developments). They can collect real estate transaction fees or split commissions as a Realtor in many states as a legal fee. They can reduce the liability of getting involved in various transactions. Most don't argue or fight with an attorney or tell them no, at least there aren't many like me (LOL).

I'll sell you my mechanical engineering degree for $50k.  I don't need it and never used it.  Think about it, no student loans, no missing 4 to 5 years of income while you study.  You can start earning money right off the bat!


Take the $50k and do some investing yourself. Figure out how to turn it into $75k and then $100k.  Work even harder than you would have at school through your own self motivation and see what you can do? How much can you turn that $50k into in 4 to 5 years? How long would it take you to turn it into a million?  I agree with Grant Cardone when he says that college isn't for most people.

I deal with multi family homes and am in graduate school for finance. Classes come in handy when evaluating future earnings, present values and managing portfolios.

Law is definitely beneficial with contracts

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Problem Solving makes the biggest difference! You don't need a degree for that. You can hire out task you don't enjoy doing..:)...It's COLD here today, so I decided to stay in PJ's..I handled 4 tenant issues with texts to electrician and HVAC..1 email to HOA for parking decal...Some days I actually talk on the phone but technology is Awesome!!!

In my humble opinion, I think getting a degree in your area of interest is the best choice. University education is not job training. It is designed to give the student mostly historical information that they can use as a foundation for a chosen profession and to exercise the thinking ability present in all people.  Perhaps a degree in thinking, if such a degree exists, would be the best choice. 

Obtaining a real estate license is one of the better choices a person involved in real estate can make in addition to a university degree.  There are numerous real estate schools and colleges that offer the courses necessary to obtain a license.  Every profession involves continuous learning and many mandate continuing education.  

Real estate investors are people with various backgrounds and education experience.  The good news is the culmination of varied interests, expertise and knowledge helps each person to learn continuously from others.  This especially true on this site, because the people here share a common interest, real estate investing, and have a diversity of good ideas and information to share. 

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