Why Should I Get a Masters in Real Estate Development?

Often those who are in the real estate industry have to make a big decision when they decide to pursue a graduate degree: MBA or Masters in Real Estate Development?

The decision whether to choose a traditional MBA degree or an MS in Real Estate Development is one that needs to be carefully weighed. With a traditional MBA, you learn general business principles but the depth of knowledge in any given area is limited to your chosen specialization. You may only have a few electives to choose from that will be incorporated in your degree.

While an MBA offers intensive management training for business professionals, a real estate development programs can offer students an in-depth education on the application of management and business principles in the real estate field. You learn many of the same general business topics but each is tailored to real estate development. A Masters in Real Estate Development degree is intensive management training in the real estate industry.

Today, many in the industry acknowledge that a strong education with the specific focus on real estate is a distinct advantage. 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.

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.

One of the most important indicators of your success is your ability to build a close professional network that you can consult throughout your career. The Mason Masters in Real Estate Development has the unique advantage of working closely with Mason’s Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship to provide great business connections for students. The center strives to advance real estate research and education in real estate development and finance by developing relevant content for both business and academic communities through partnerships with leading local real estate developers, professional and organizations.

The center acts as a catalyst between the MS in Real Estate Development program and the real estate industry. The partnerships with the real estate community serve to enhance your education, not only through networking, but also by serving as professors, guest speakers and mentors for students.

When determining whether you should pursue an Masters in Real Estate Development, you should talk to many professionals in your industry. At Mason, graduates walk away with the ability to lead and manage complex projects, an understanding of the importance of professional and ethical conduct, and analytical decision-making skills. That’s what makes it one of the best real estate development programs in the region. Be sure to research all aspects of all programs you are considering to be sure it is the right fit for you.

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Jackie Buchy

Since 2011, I have served as the assistant dean for graduate enrollment at George Mason University's School of Business. In my role, I work with prospective graduate students to identify and select the best graduate program to meet their career goals.

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