In response to demand, biz schools beef up real estate programs

January 17, 2013 03:30PM

The demand for real estate education is rising in business schools, with many institutions offering new undergraduate and graduate initiatives in the subject, Businessweek reported.

About 15 percent of business schools surveyed in 2012 by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business  had programs that emphasize real estate training, an increase of 30 percent over the last decade.

Last week, Rutgers Business School created a $3 million endowed professorship in real estate, to prepare for the MBA class of 2014.

“Real estate will continue to be a major facet of business, with its own unique characteristics,” said Darius Palia, a finance professor at Rutgers who teaches students about the housing meltdown. “There’s a lot of demand in the marketplace for people trained in real estate techniques.”  

Indeed, at New York City’s Columbia Business School, nearly half the graduates of the real estate program are hired for plum private equity and investment management positions by firms including Blackstone, Goldman Sachs and Vornado Realty Trust. Employment in real estate, especially in private equity, is on the up, as The Real Deal previously reported.

The Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep interest rates at a record law should further drum up interest for specialized real estate training, some experts say. Brian Lancaster, an adjunct finance professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said that the Fed’s policies and the recovering market have pushed excitement in the classroom “off the charts. I expect only more interest in real estate among MBAs in the future.” [Businessweek]  – Hiten Samtani