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Real Estate at WGU

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Are You Considering a Career in Real Estate?

While a college degree isn’t required to become a real estate professional, completing a degree program, in addition to your required certifications, can give you an extra edge to succeed in the field of real estate.

Buying and selling a home, and the accompanying mortgage, is a major life decision, one that often requires the help of real estate professionals. These experts help guide people through the complexities of property-related transactions—from negotiating pricing and reviewing contracts to marketing a property to sell and finding a property that meets their client’s needs.

If a career in real estate is what you’re after, you’re not alone. According to recent statistics, there are more than 3 million people employed in the real estate industry, and that number has grown steadily since 2012. Many gravitate toward this career path because it offers a flexible schedule, the ability to work outside of an office, and the freedom to grow.

This guide will help you explore how the skills learned in various bachelor’s or master’s degree programs can be applied to a range of real estate jobs.     

Pathways to a Real Estate Career

To become a licensed real estate agent or to pursue other careers in real estate, you’ll need to meet your state’s licensing requirements. Each state’s requirements are different, but most involve prelicensing education, completing a certain number of hours in the field, and passing an exam. Earning your real estate license means you can legally act as a real estate agent—but only in the state where you earned your license.

As mentioned earlier, a degree isn’t necessary, but it can be incredibly helpful given the range of marketing, management, and leadership skills real estate professionals need to do their jobs well. So, whether your goal is to become a real estate agent or broker, a property manager, or even a real estate lawyer, it’s worth considering the degree options that can help you be more successful in your industry.  

46% of real estate agents hold a bachelor’s degree, according to a recent report by Zippia.

Bachelor of Science in Business Management

If you’re interested in a real estate role that allows you to flex your management and leadership skills, this degree could be the right path for you. You’ll learn things like innovative and strategic thinking, best business concepts and practices, client relations, as well as concepts in marketing, sales, and finance—all of which can be applied to a variety of real estate related jobs.

LinkedIn shows more than 26,000 real estate jobs specifically requiring management skills. So, while a degree isn’t required to work in real estate, a business management degree can give you the management skills several real estate organizations are looking for.

Bachelor of Science in Marketing

Marketing is a crucial component to nearly every business, and real estate is no exception. A degree in marketing covers a wide range of courses that directly apply to real estate and will advance your skills in advertising, communications, and sales.

Marketing courses will teach you how to promote yourself—as well as properties for your clients—using digital marketing tools such as SEO, social media, and email campaigns.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

If you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree and aspire to open your own real estate firm or brokerage, completing an MBA program will prepare you with the skills necessary to take your career to the next level. You’ll gain advanced knowledge in operations management, accounting, communication, marketing, decision making, and more. All of these skills can prepare you to own or lead a real estate agency or brokerage.

Real Estate Agents and Clients

$63,607

is the average salary for real estate professionals according to Glassdoor.

Careers in Real Estate

man talking to couple laptop

Real estate professionals are integral in helping people reach their home ownership or property goals. Whatever real estate-related job you choose to pursue, while not a real estate degree, a degree in marketing, business management, or business administration can help lay the foundation for a successful career. To help you better understand your options, here are some jobs you can potentially land in real estate.

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?

Real estate agents and realtors help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. People often use the terms real estate agent and realtor interchangeably, but they’re actually different. Both are licensed to help buyers and sellers through real estate transactions; however, realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), while real estate agents are not. Membership to NAR is optional, but being a realtor can give you more credibility as a real estate agent.

 

What Does a Real Estate Broker Do?

Brokers are real estate agents who have completed additional training and earn their real estate broker license. They can work independently and hire other real estate agents to work for them. Brokers do many of the same things real estate agents do including preparing offers, determining market values, listing and showing properties, and conducting negotiations.

What Does a Property Manager Do?

Property managers are typically hired by a property owner to handle the operations, maintenance, and administration of a property rental. They can have a variety of responsibilities such as collecting rent, screening tenants, managing budgets, and taking care of maintenance requests.

What Does a Home Inspector Do?

The job of a home inspector is to give a complete home inspection and translate any findings into an inspection report. They’re specially trained to identify defects and determine the condition of a property. It’s also their responsibility to report any issues to the buyer before closing so they can make an informed decision.

What Does an Appraiser Do?

Appraisal is the process of determining the current value of a property for a potential buyer. This is typically done through an on-site inspection and off-site research where the appraiser will take into consideration things such as the condition of the home, square footage, health and safety violations, current real estate market, and neighborhood to evaluate a home’s fair market value. After the process is complete the agent and the homeowner are apprised of the appraisal value.

What Does a Real Estate Lawyer Do?

Real estate lawyers are trained in handling legal issues involving real estate transactions. As with all attorneys, real estate lawyers have a law degree and have specific knowledge of zoning laws, deeds, estate planning, property taxes, and titles. They also deal with foreclosure proceedings, engage in litigation, review sales transactions, negotiate deals, and draw up documents. 

dining room with windows in the back

2%

is the amount of projected growth in real estate from now until 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why choose WGU?

There are several reasons WGU’s online degree programs are a great fit for students:

Affordability.

Tuition is charged per six-month term—not per credit hour—which means you can complete more courses in one term without paying more money. 

Pace.

Competency-based education means you can use your knowledge to your advantage. Move through courses at your own pace to accelerate your program and potentially graduate faster. 

Scholarships. 

We offer scholarships and financial aid to help with our already-affordable tuition, making college education accessible for even more students.

Coursework.

The coursework in our online programs is directly applicable to your career and provides you with a portfolio of relevant work before you even graduate, which can make you even more marketable to future employers. 

They're Prepared

95% said that their WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs

95% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.

They're Top Candidates

96% said they would hire another WGU graduate

96% of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

They Wow

98% of employers said WGU graduates meet or exceed expectations

98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.

Source: 2020 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers

Which Degree Should You Choose?

Business Management – B.S. Business Administration

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...

Hone your business acumen and garner added...

Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 41 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Account executive
  • Business analyst
  • Program manager
  • Director or senior director
  • Vice president

This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.

Marketing – B.S. Business Administration

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:...

For those who want to lead brands and steer...

For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 41 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Marketing and PR manager
  • Director of marketing and communications
  • Director of publications
  • Customer intelligence manager
  • Marketing sales manager

Marketing is a creative and exciting field—and one where an undergraduate degree will open better opportunities.

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Executive director
  • Chief strategic officer

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Real Estate Career

If your career goal is to become a realtor there are a few degree programs that can help prepare you for the field, including a marketing or business management degree, or a Master of Business Administration degree.

The national average salary for real estate professionals is $63,607 per year, but that number may be higher for estate agents who have additional education (such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree) experience, or certifications.

A good place to start is to research your state’s real estate regulatory office website so you can understand its specific requirements. Requirements will vary by state, but general steps include taking a real estate pre-licensing course, passing the licensing exam, activating your license, and joining a brokerage.