What Post-CRE-Grad Careers Look Like

July 08, 2015

Globe St.

Students graduating from university commercial real estate programs vary greatly in the types of jobs and careers they are looking to have, faculty members of these programs tell GlobeSt.com. We spoke exclusively with several such educators to discover which careers graduates are seeking and obtaining after completing today’s university-level CRE courses. For a more in-depth feature article on the evolution of university commercial real estate programs, stay tuned for the July/August issue of Real Estate Forum.

GlobeSt.com: What types of real estate careers are the students who take university commercial real estate courses looking to have?

Jeff Engelstad, CCIM, clinical professor, Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver: The field of real estate has become more sophisticated, from small entrepreneurial firms to the very big firms, and the need for specialized education has increased. Graduating students are either entrepreneurial minded and want to work with a small firm or start their own, or they are looking to get brand-name recognition experience at a big firm. They either will go out as an analyst for a REIT or pension fund or they might go out as a development assistant. Surprisingly, very few students in university programs see themselves doing brokerage. I absolutely concur with some of them that brokerage is a fantastically interesting occupation, but there is a stigma attached to brokerage of someone hawking deals. But I always tell them, “If you’re good at brokerage, you can buy and sell all these analysts.” Pretty much everybody in a university program in real estate wants to be a developer—and these days, not only a developer, but also an urban-infill, mixed-use, green developer, which is totally OK when you’re in a university program; they should be thinking about the coolest thing they can do.