Career Spotlight: Real Estate

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You love talking to people, and, more importantly, you love talking to them about old-world colonial glass windows and the virtues of a backyard that gets good sunlight in the afternoon. If you’re a people person with a passion for helping people find the perfect space, real estate might be the right career for you.

Real estate is the study of the purchase and sale of land, property, and buildings (both commercial and residential) and the analysis of legal and economic problems involved in such transactions. The bachelor’s degree is often combined with the study of urban development. The four-year program develops an understanding of the formulation and application of political and economic regulations and policies impacting the real estate industry. Certificate and two-year associate degree programs are more plentiful and can prepare one for employment in the field.

Studies typically begin with a business administration core of courses. At the upper-division level, specialized courses are offered in topics such as financial decision-making methods, data analysis in real estate valuation and appraisal, management of residential and commercial property, the operation of markets, and legal principles in real estate dealings. Internships with housing agencies, large real estate corporations, and banks also may be available.

If you plan on pursuing real estate at the collegiate level, expect to take classes like housing economics, real estate policies, urban development, investment strategy, residential development, and real estate transactions. Before then, suggested high school subjects include advanced mathematics, advanced science, computer studies, college-preparatory electives in business and social studies. Related majors include accounting, banking/finance, business administration, business economics, economics, insurance, international business, marketing, and mathematics. Strengths in business, mathematics, and entrepreneurship are often necessary.

Possible careers

  • accountant
  • analyst
  • bank loan officer
  • broker
  • business manager
  • estate planner
  • international business specialist
  • lawyer
  • market researcher
  • real estate sales representative
  • teacher
  • urban planner

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