Make a Business out of Real Estate: Real Estate Degrees

If you want to have a career in real estate, there are a number of online real estate programs that can help you make the transition into this exciting and rapidly changing sector of industry. Online real estate programs can provide you with the education you need in order to be a success in the field. With the successful completion of your program, you will receive the certification or degree required by every state in the nation to work in real estate.

While you don’t need a degree to be a real estate broker or agent, it helps your future career to do so. The real estate business has become more complex, and getting a good foundation and education in the business will further your career goals down the line. With a bachelor’s degree or a master’s, you’ll have knowledge of all the areas and disciplines in real estate, including law, economics, finance and marketing.

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Real Estate Degree Information

People interested in working in real estate are investing time, money and effort in obtaining real estate degrees, whether the degree is an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s. Making this extra effort ensures that the licensed real estate agent or broker will know the business inside and out, a necessity now with the overall complexity of the industry.

By working towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree in real estate, the student will learn about every aspect of the industry, including financing, insurance, pricing, transfer of titles and home inspection. They will have thorough background knowledge of financial feasibility studies, land development processes, evaluation and appraisal techniques and creating financing packages. Studies begin with basic business practices such as accounting, management, economics, finance and consumer behavior. After studying business basics, students will move into real estate specific courses

Many universities and colleges offer degrees in real estate at the levels mentioned above. Generally, students will choose one of two paths: a traditional business degree with a real estate focus or an interdisciplinary degree based wholly on real estate. As real estate has become more complex in the past decade, the demand for professionals truly educated in all aspects of real estate went up. Universities responded with undergraduate degrees that cover all the foundations of the industry and one or two year graduate level degrees that develop the student even further. Today, many employers in the industry expect to hire candidates with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in real estate, especially if the candidate wishes to advance in a real estate career.

Online Real Estate Degrees

Many colleges and universities offering real estate studies have online programs made for busy professionals as well as traditional campus-based programs. The degrees awarded for the online programs are the same for online and traditional programs. When looking into online real estate degree programs, be sure the university or college you’ve chosen is fully accredited by the industry.

Certificates and Associate’s

Many online degree programs offer insight into real estate with certificates and associate’s degrees. Obtaining a certificate or associate’s degree will give the student some background into the industry with the associate’s degree offering essential business skills as well. Real estate basics such appraisal, property investing, management and marketing, real estate brokerage and law are covered. With a certificate or an associate’s degree, many graduates of these programs will find jobs in the real estate sector such as property inspector, real estate appraiser and property manager.


A bachelor’s degree in real estate ensures that the student has the necessary skills to work in commercial and corporate real estate as well as working with individual buyers and sellers. Most bachelor’s degree programs teach students to perform real estate appraisals and valuation techniques and approaches to handling commercial real estate. Students learn to create market and feasibility studies as well as to put together financing packages. Armed with a bachelor’s degree with a real estate specialty, graduates increase their chances of success in the modern real estate market.


As real estate became more complex in the last few decades, more people began to see the need for education focusing specifically on real estate. Rather than get a master’s in business administration or MBA, people interested in real estate began looking for graduate level programs to enhance their skills and knowledge of the industry. Universities and colleges responded with graduate programs emphasizing real estate. While many students opt for online studies as they continue working full-time, other grad students apply for intensive full-time grad programs that may run for one or two years. For many students, sharpening real estate skills and knowledge with a master’s degree in real estate makes sense in a boom and bust industry.


While universities will vary in some classes, most bachelor’s and master’s level real estate programs offer a core curriculum with courses such as the following:

  • Real estate development
  • Real estate site analysis and design
  • Market segmentation and analysis
  • Real estate finance
  • Advanced real estate finance
  • Real estate laws and regulations
  • Real estate development project management
  • Public entitlement process

Students may choose from a number of elective courses such as

  • Sustainable development
  • Public private partnerships
  • Urban infill
  • Affordable housing
  • Real estate investment
  • Career Opportunities

    Real estate essentially draws upon a multitude of skills and knowledge from a compendium of other related fields such as finance and investment, land use economics, public policy, design and project management. The field is cyclic in nature, with a tendency to boom and bust, depending on the overall economy. Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that real estate is expected to grow by 11 percent over the next few years, about as fast as average for all occupations. Currently, about 466,100 people are employed in the industry, with 52,500 jobs to be added over the next eight years. While not the rosiest of scenarios, people will always be buying and selling real estate, so the need for real estate agents and brokers will remain stable.

    Earning Potential

    The BLS puts the median salary of real estate agents at $54,410 per year. Brokers received a median salary of $77,240. Real estate agents must work with brokers; real estate brokers are licensed to own their own agencies and to employ agents. A real estate agent’s skills in communication and sales ability will largely affect their salaries. Real estate agents do not receive a standard pay check, rather they earn a commission from each sale they make. How much they make depends on how many properties they sell and for how much.

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    Real Estate FAQ

    What types of jobs can I expect with a real estate degree?

    While a majority of real estate agents and brokers live and work in large cities, these people are employed all over the country, in small but growing towns and cities to tiny rural hamlets. Most real estate agents work in offices, but spend a large part of their time out showing and investigating properties. They meet a lot of people on the job. Many real estate agents are self-employed. Agents and brokers often work more than 40 hours a week, with weekend and evening hours included, since that is generally when buyers and sellers are free to look at houses.

    How long does it take to earn a degree in real estate?

    An associate’s degree will take about two years; a bachelor’s degree in real estate will take four years, and a master’s one or two years beyond that. Many people earning a real estate degree enter online real estate programs so they can work at the same time as they are studying to get their degree.

    Where are the highest-paying real estate jobs?

    Real estate agents and brokers who work in property management for the property owners tend to make more money at $95,080 than those working in real estate brokerages at $86,190. Real estate brokers working for investment pools and funds can make substantially more money. Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California are paid higher salaries than brokers and agents in other parts of the country.

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