Educational CRE Programs: A Guide

These programs, which are provided by schools, universities, and business associations, are influencing the subsequent generation of CRE leaders.

People wishing to expand their skill sets within the commercial real estate market can now access a wide range of resources. Although they were not as common in the past, commercial real estate-specific degrees and certifications have become more and more popular in recent years. Young professionals with formal educations in commercial real estate are now more prevalent in the labor market.

According to Thomas Sherlock, a principal at Talonvest Capital, “Having a formal education in commercial real estate is an opportunity and advantage for anyone interested in a CRE career, For many individuals, that formal education provides the opportunity to start a career with a greater understanding of important fundamental factors in a variety of the industry’s interconnected specialties.”

While working in the industry, many seasoned experts are obtaining qualifications in commercial real estate.

At the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University, Catherine Hughey is pursuing a Master of Science in Real Estate while also enrolling in two in-person evening courses. She also serves as general manager for JLL at the modern, 473,000 square foot 800 Fulton office skyscraper in Chicago’s Fulton Market. Hughey, a lifelong learner who graduated from Project REAP – Chicago in 2018, holds real estate broker licenses in Wisconsin and Illinois. She participates in both the BOMA/Chicago Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the JLL Midwest PM Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Hughey declared, “You can’t lose. The Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate gives you all the tools you need to win, and all the instructors make the classes interesting.”
There are numerous reputable programs given by colleges, universities, and organizations that offer classes, real-life experience, practical knowledge, problem solving, group projects, and internship opportunities to match the career objectives of persons like Hughey. not to mention the intangible advantages like networking and mentoring. For instance, Chloe Asnes, a member of the George Washington University School of Business’s 2022 graduating class, says that the school’s real estate undergraduate concentration has a sizable and vibrant student body. “We are very fortunate to have engaged alumni who mentor students, help us expand our networks and provide us with technical training and interview prep,” according to the speaker.
These programs prepare the next generation of business executives for the opportunities and difficulties presented by commercial real estate by awarding a variety of degrees and certificates. The Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate at Harvard University Graduate School of Design is where Sinobo Group’s director of asset management, Angela Han, is enrolled. She claims that the training is quite useful and covers a variety of topics in addition to only the high-level technology in buildings.“The program introduced the different standards that buildings can seek, LEED, WELL, etc., but also gave insight into the cost/benefit of which of these to pursue depending on the project you are working on. It also discussed the technological and practical overlap of different standards—some have more similarity, while others are very different. And the group discussion challenged us to think about the pros and cons of the different standards for our different projects.
For students who may not desire to pursue a university degree, there are other options. For instance, the CCIM designation is a demanding program of advanced study and training in financial and market analysis offered by the CCIM Institute. Students who want to receive the designation must enroll in classes, present a portfolio of relevant experience for review by a special committee, and pass a one-day exam. According to Karl Landreneau, a senior instructor at the CCIM Institute, “one of the biggest advantages of a CCIM Institute education is that all courses are taught by instructors who are CRE practitioners. The instructors are certified and trained, required to attend two adult education courses annually, and are also graded by their students.”
Another illustration is Project REAP, a diversity initiative for the commercial real estate sector that also provides an 8–10 week continuing education course on the fundamentals of real estate asset classes and its different functional disciplines, such as finance, leasing, property management, investment, brokerage, and development.
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