Want a Career in Real Estate? Don't Go to College. A degree is way too expensive, gives you a false sense of security and actually eliminates opportunities you can get in the real world.

By Steven Kaufman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Most real estate agents and investors have a college degree despite the lack of real estate as a focus. There is the option to major in marketing with a minor in real-estate investment, but those taking that route are few and far between. The reason being is that a degree is not specifically needed to be successful in real estate investing.

Related: Star of 'Million Dollar Listing' Says Anyone Can Make Money in Real Estate

Here's why.

1. Student loans

The class of 2015 is the most indebted class to date and will continue to hold this title until the class of 2016 graduates, according to The Wall Street Journal. The average college graduate carries a debt of over $35,000. This number is almost twice the amount students had to pay two decades ago.

The best teacher for real-estate investing is real-life experience. Even though college is often a great experience for most, if the goal is to make as much money as possible, then college doesn't appear to be worth the debt. The best way to learn about real estate investment is to get your feet wet and do it. Use the money you would spend on a degree and start investing. After all, one out of four successful billionaires did not go to college!

2. College tunnel vision eliminates opportunities.

College gives most people tunnel vision, because their main focus is earning the degree. This will keep you from seizing the great opportunities right in front of you. One of the hardest parts of investing is finding and identifying the right deal. If you are too focused, you will miss it. Real-estate markets are ever-changing and require constant monitoring. Investing is also very localized, so what works in some states may not work in others. It is hard for someone focused on college to keep up with these changes.

Related: 4 Ways to Kick-Start Your Career in Real-Estate Investment

3. False sense of confidence

Most recent college graduates feel like they are ready to go straight into the workforce -- despite the fact that 41 percent of hiring mangers disagree. College gives students the false sense that the classes they are taking will prepare them for the real world, when in reality, that is far from the truth.

Investing with a false sense of confidence can get you caught up into a deal that you can't get out of financially. Each investment you make is a non-speculative calculated risk. When Hernan Cortes went to war, he saw his men were nervous, so he burned the boats, telling them to look forward, because there was no going back.

Most graduates with a college degree end up finding their passion in something completely opposite of their intended career field. Even though college equips you with a great set of skills, real-life experience is key. Higher education often sets students apart from the rest of the world, but it can isolate them from valuable real-world experience. And real-world experience is key to succeed in real-estate investing.

Related: 6 Lies They Teach in Business School

Steven Kaufman

Finance Enthusiast

Steven Kaufman, CPA, MsEDE, is a finance enthusiast and the founder and Chief Acceleration Officer of Zeus Trust Company, which operates a real estate crowdfunding platform under the brand ZeusCrowdFunding.com, and a long-term lending platform under the brand Zeus Mortgage Bank. Kaufman is frequently interviewed on current financial markets by local and national news organizations such as FOX, ABC, CBS, CNN and Bloomberg. He completed the Strategic Marketing Management Program at Harvard Business School and has a master's degree in economic development and entrepreneurship from the University of Houston.


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