MBA or Masters Degree? One set of comparisons.

by Bruce Kirsch on August 16, 2012

This is a big debate for many, especially because there are also many excellent part-time MRE/MSRED programs (Masters In Real Estate/RE Development) that do not require you to disrupt your life or take out loans to get the degree. I have taught at the Georgetown Masters of Professional Studies in Real Estate program for three years, and can attest to the high quality of the students there.

Here is MIT’s assessment of MBA vs. the MIT degree. You can learn more about their top program here.

Source: MIT Center For Real Estate


  • Anonymous

    Mike Hammerslag,MS(RE), MBA, CPM®, MCR(c) • A nice representation of MIT’s propaganda as to why their program is valuable … maybe an opinion can actually spark some worthwhile debate …

    So, Bruce, what is your opinion of one over the other?

    Bruce Kirsch

    Bruce Kirsch • Hi Mike, in an ideal world, this is what I think is best if you are absolutely sure that you want to go into real estate when you enter college:

    * Get an Undergraduate Business degree, but double-major in one of the liberal arts to make sure that you can still think creatively

    * Work in real estate for at least 3 years

    * Get a Masters in Real Estate (either part time, or full time if you can stomach the loans) at a program located in the geographic region in which you intend to spend your career, as the lions share of your alumni will be in that geography

    I had an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, so I felt that I needed a hard-core business education. I also was not sure that I wanted to go into real estate when I applied to business school, so getting an MBA offered me more well-rounded exposure. If I had been sure, then I probably would have applied to some Masters programs in RE, but likely would have still ended up getting an MBA to be safe.

    MBA programs vary in their real estate course offerings and networking opportunities, so not all are equally beneficial for those who want to be in real estate.

    In conclusion, it is a personal decision for all of us. No one will ever fault you for getting either degree, and everything in life is what you make of it.

    One thing is certain though: while I am glad I got an MBA, I certainly could have done without 3 semesters of Operations Management courses (the minimum requirement at Wharton at the time). I have never applied anything from those courses in my real estate career, and don’t think I ever will.

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