Real Estate Finance Degree Programs and Schools

Many people think that the only way to make money in real estate is buy selling homes and property. But, for that to even happen, someone’s got to help finance those sells.

That’s where real estate finance comes in. Real estate finance covers everything from careers as a mortgage broker to a mortgage loan officer.

It’s a field in which 7 million people in the United States have jobs, and more than a third of the world’s wealth is in real estate. In short, it’s an industry that’s come upon tough times in the past two years, but it’s not going anywhere.

Careers in real estate finance are in demand and remain extremely competitive, which is why we’ve put together a list of degree plans that will help prepare your into a valuable and attractive employee.

Education and Degrees that Prepare You for Real Estate Finance

Currently, not many major public universities offer degrees specifically in real estate finance, which is why you may have to major in a degree that is related to it but not exact.

However, some universities, like the University of Texas at Austin, are recognizing the overwhelming need for these majors. The University of Texas created a real estate finance center 10 years ago to prepare for the industry’s oncoming boom.

Such majors will focus on the laws and regulations related to real estate finance, all the way down to the basics of how to help clients find loans. Some programs may also have internship programs that allow you to work for a summer or semester at brokerage firms or in real estate offices.

If you want to major specifically in real estate finance but can’t find a traditional campus that offers the degree, you should consider getting your degree from an online university.

There are also several universities that now offer online degrees in real estate finance, among them are the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University and Capella University.

In most cases, the degrees are just as valued as a traditional bachelor’s degree, but it will obviously depend on the company you work for what their preferences are.

Something to remember about careers in real estate finance: almost all of the better-paying jobs require a bachelor’s degree. The degree doesn’t have to be in real estate finance, but lenders and brokerage firms like for them to be in related fields, such as finance, economics or business.

While you’re in school, don’t just focus on your degree and your grades. Obviously, your GPA should be strong and you should stay focused, but involve yourself in student organizations, internships or even part-time jobs that are related to careers in real estate finance. Both lending and brokerage firms prefer job candidates who have experience in either banking or finance, along with their degree. Like we said before, it’s an extremely competitive field, so the more that you can add to your resume in hopes of standing out, the better.

Also, like in most all jobs, networking is key. To do well in real estate finance, you have to have spot-on people skills. The more people you know not only widens your net for getting a good job, but it also improves your communication and people skills.

Other Degrees for Jobs in the Mortgage Industry

The same rules above will apply for landing good jobs in the mortgage industry. People skills are essential, but you’ve also got to show up at the interview with a related degree and some experience already under your belt.

Employees at many brokerage and lending firms have degrees in banking, finance, economics, accounting and even online accounting or finance degrees.

Job candidates with those majors are still preferred by employers in the industry today because the majors teach students the basic principles of finance — something you’ll do almost every day in the mortgage industry.

Try to land internships during your summer break that will better prepare you for a job in the mortgage industry. Real hands-on experience is the best way to dispel myths or preconceived notions about a job. Not only that, it will show future employers that you were ambitious during college and obtained a real grasp for what their jobs entail.