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Business Schools Help MBAs Launch Real Estate Careers



By Chris Hassan
Posted January 21, 2013 11:00 AM

More business schools helping MBAs prepare for real estate careers.
More business schools helping MBAs prepare for real estate careers.

The U.S. housing market is still struggling to repair itself following its infamous 2007 crash, while the nation's construction sector has a long road ahead of it before it can be considered fully recovered. Despite these conditions, many business schools continue to introduce Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs with a focus on real estate. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, institutions are doing this to meet growing student demand.

Business Schools Take an Interest in Real Estate

Based on data from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), roughly 15% of institutions offered degree programs focused on real estate at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in 2012. The University of Miami (UM) and Portland State University (PSU) have only helped increase this percentage, as these schools recently created new real estate options for degree seekers.

UM and PSU join the ranks of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which allows MBA degree seekers to concentrate their studies on real estate, and the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, which provides a similar option.

Rutgers Invests in Real Estate Education

In New Jersey, Rutgers Business School is the latest institution to take steps toward meeting the demand for an education that combines MBA basics with a focus on real estate. According to a press release, Rutgers recently established the $3 million "Paul V. Profeta Chair in Real Estate," which will help the school attract an academic leader who can create a real estate concentration for its MBA program.

Glenn R. Shafer, the business school's dean, said the chair in real estate will help Rutgers transform into a global thought leader in what has become a critical, yet under-served field.

"Real estate investment is a major factor in the development of the global economy," said Shafer. "New demands for financial sophistication in real estate, along with expectations for sustainability and increasing regulation, have created an unmet demand in New Jersey for personnel trained in finance, accounting and supply chain management in the field of real estate."

Real Estate's Appeal

Paul Profeta, the president and owner of Paul V. Profeta and Associates, as well as financial donor after which the Rutgers chair is named, understands how exciting a career in real estate can be. After all, his company is involved in real estate management, investment and leasing nationwide. Profeta told Businessweek that by establishing an MBA concentration in this area, the business school has the potential to attract students who are looking to leave their mark in the field.

"The real estate industry is totally unregulated," Profeta said. "It's really a wild and woolly field. You live by your wits. That's why it's exciting to young professionals."

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