For many years, formal education in the field of real estate was limited. Many were only exposed to on-the-job training, short courses and licensing. But in recent years this has changed as institutions across the United States have moved toward offering more formal training in real estate development. As the industry has grown, so has the demand for professionals.
Today professionals have a choice of pursuing a Master of Science in Real Estate, which generally prepares students for careers in brokerage, real estate sales or appraisal. In addition, a Master of Real Estate Development focuses on the core areas of real estate development, finance and investment, planning and policy, infrastructure and construction, market analysis and real estate law. Typically those professionals seeking to enhance their career and join real estate investment, development or finance industry are those who would pursue a Masters in Real Estate Development.
Many career opportunities exist for those pursuing careers in real estate. Most commonly, many pursue careers as project managers, general contractors or real estate agents.
Project managers are responsible for coordination of general contractors, and the procurement of licenses and permits. They are the one who manage the project’s budget, and production time. General contractors generally work for the project manager, and perform the work needed to move the project along, managing subcontractors when needed. Real estate sales agents are responsible for the sales of the property. They may work for the development company or a real estate firm. Generally real estate agents either specialize in personal or commercial properties. They help set the prices for the sale of the properties.
According to the National Association of Realtors, additional options for careers in real estate include real estate appraising, property management, land development, urban planning, real estate counselling, and real estate research. Careers in real estate finance and real estate law are also options.
Appraisers determine the value of properties. Property manager’s primary function is to maintain a property to create the highest return over the longest period of time. Land developers have a great challenge of taking an open space and creating a marketable development that can either be residential, commercial or industrial. Urban planners work with local governments to anticipate the future growth of a city, and make physical changes to accommodate this growth. Real estate counsellors serve as experts for real estate questions offering their advice about property. And finally real estate researchers provide the research data and statistics to support all of the above mentioned positions in real estate.
George Mason’s Masters in Real Estate Development program prepares students for key positions in real estate development. The cross-disciplinary programs draws expertise of faculty from the School of Management, School of Public Policy and Volgenau School of Engineering to offer students the developer’s perspective on relevant issues in civil engineering, finance, public policy, sustainability and construction management. The program is heavily supported by the real estate development community creating unique opportunities for networking, internships, business development, and case studies.
Surveys have shown that a Masters in Real Estate Development program will have a great impact on your career and many professionals expect it to open doors. According to Select Leaders 2013 Real Estate Hiring Trends Survey, 70% of real estate companies are interested in hiring recent real estate graduates and 56% of real estate professionals anticipate an increase in total compensation when completing a Masters in Real Estate Development program.
Careers in real estate development are expected to continue to grow with the market. A career in real estate can offer great flexibility and opportunity, and even provide you with an opportunity to help grow and shape your community.