college degree needed / useful for REI?

i am NOT asking about whether the knowledge accumulated would be helpful, but rather about whether or not having an actual degree in hand will make a difference.

if so, in what ways will it matter? on loan apps? for consideration by others when doing deals?

if it does matter, in what circumstances is it going to be really important, if any?

 In business, real estate or otherwise, banks will never ask you whether you went to college.  They will ask you for your financial statement.  What is your income?  Do you own stocks?  Do you own real estate?  Do you owe anyone money?  Do you have debt?  Do you owe back taxes?  Stuff like that.  They calculate your net worth, look at your ability to make money and decide if you are a worthwhile risk and a trustworthy debtor.
 That being said, people with a college degree, on average, earn a lot more money than people who don't.  Unless you have a crystal ball that is telling you that you can make your own business fly when 9 out of 10 businesses fail, you should get a degree.
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only reason why you would ask such a question would be if you were contemplating dropping out.  Bad idea in my opinion.  I don't remember much from college (something about loose girls and beer) 8) but I believe that college teaches one how to learn; an important skill in this business.
 A prospective employer will ask you whether you went to college, and that may make a difference in whether you will have enough income to buy real estate in the first place.  A masters degree in business administration with a concentration in urban land development would come in real handy when talking to other investors about potential partnerships.

He that lives well, is learned enough

I agree with everything Funder said. A college degree is irrelevant to REI. However, a college degree can open doors.


Agree also! Graciez

A college degree either fits into your strategy or it does not. If your chosen field is to do real estate and build your financial basis on that, then the time you spend in college may not be the best use of that time. It would be like LeBron James going to college when there are millions of dollars waiting for him in the NBA. I have a Bachelors degree in Engineering and an MBA. I make a lot of money on my job. I used that money to build a standard of living. I have a 3000 sqft house with a pool and home theatre in a nice neighborhood around the corner from the golf course. I got that through my job. Because of being able to pay down debt and use of cash during the 20 years I have been working and living in Texas, I have expenses every month based on this lifestyle of $2500/month (people in New York City spend that on rent alone). That is what I pay for everything from mortgage to drycleaning. I am acquiring enough property to maintain that lifestyle. I only need 15 single family houses yielding $200/month to sustain my lifestyle (my goal is 20 and I am at 11 closing on my 12th Monday if I can get my insurance straight). When that happens I am officially rich. My definition of rich is a person that lives a middle class or better lifestyle without working much. It is easier to use real estate to maintain what you have established than to build the lifestyle using it.

I suggest you develop a strategy with the end point in mind. If you want to live like a rock star, then plan on how to do that and follow that plan. If you want a job, get a degree. Picture yourself 50 years old. Where are you sitting and what are are you doing? Then develop a plan that will logically get you to that place by your 50th birthday. That should govern your actions.

yes, i am considering putting school aside. i don’t know what ‘dropping out’ officially is, but what i am doing is leaving, with permission to re-enroll if i want. i don’t have a lot left, but am pursuing an econ degree, have no desire to ever work a 9-5, and have been doing a ton of REI study for over a year, and will be until jan/feb '07 when i get my first property.

i know degree —> paying job —> money for down payment on REI

but, my fiance and i seem to have what we need to get our first property: ~30K salary each, been with our companies for about 3 years, and will have 20-30K in hand when going for our first property through an HUD insured loan

i don’t have a lot left to finish in school, but am having trouble justifying ~8K worth of expenses to wrap up my degree, and spend two terms doing it. if i am only interested in working in real estate, getting this last year of school will

  • drop my share of the down payment, $15K, to almost nothign (spend 8K on the classes, plus lose the money I would have made during those 4 months)
  • stop my real estate studies for those months
  • give me a degree in econ that i do not ever intend on using

at 50? i still see myself in REI, but working in bigger operations, either large apartment complexes, condo complexes, or development. by 50 i envision very large amounts of money, a sic house, and teaching my two kids, ~20 by then, about realty.
(yes i’m a dreamer, but so far in life i have gotten most all of my dreams)

i guess as long as i’m not going to be getting asked that at banks, i don’t really have a problem then. that was my biggest fear. i know i’m really close to wrapping it up, and nobody will agree that i’m making hte right move, but i’ve decided what i want to do with my life and finishing my degree really just seems to hurt that (by seriously handicapping my first investment)

That’s a tough situation to be in. Having only a two terms left would definately lead me to believe that pursuing your degree would be a priority. Yes, you are “saving” an additional $8k in college expenses, but you would also be “losing” a lot more than that from PREVIOUS college expenses. As an earlier poster said, that small peice of paper (your degree) can open a LOT of doors. It is something you can fall back on if you find yourself losing ground in the RE investment industry.

If it were me, I would spend the $8k and next year to complete my degree. That would be my #1 priority. Again, JMHO.

This is going to sound harsh, but anyone who is only 2 terms away from graduating college and is willing to quit will likely do the same at other points in their life.

A wise man once said “as a man, most of the time I do what I have to, some of the time I do what I want to”.

The bottom line is that REI will be there in a year, 5 years, 10 years, etc. If you are willing to quit school it is from a lack of committment to doing what you have to do in order to do what you want to do. That’s not being an adult. Being successful at anything is about persistance more than any other single attribute. If you start your life off without it, you’re not going to magically get it later in life.

It seems to me like you are looking for someone to agree with, in case you fell you can blame someone else.

If you truly want to be successful at rei, you stay in school and get a high paying job. Well that really depends on what you are going to for.

Most lenders will not even touch you unless you have a history of income. Otherwise you could be defeating your purpose.

Now if you are going to school and your degree is the type that lead to work in a department store. Then go ahead and save the time, start working in that department store. Start building from there.

What is your major? If you are not going to major in something that pays a lot of money for not much time, a degree is of no use anyway. If you are majoring in art, music, or elementary education you may as well quite and work on your real estate. If you are going to be an accountant, engineer, or computer science it would be worth it to stick it out for the year.

He said his degree is in Economics. Not sure what specific jobs that covers. However, there are some jobs that require a degree in any field that pays good (an insurance agent comes to mind - at least, it used to).

Not anymore.

I don’t think you need a degree to be an insurance agent do you?

you have never done a deal and yet you have your whole life planned out around REI.??? (yet, another one of these post!)

once you have a degree, you will always have it regardless of what you do, what the economy does, etc

working in real estate is just another J-O-B; don’t be fooled. Also, a lot of people have the glossy-eyed fanasty of being a “professional real estate investor”. very, very few people achieve. and oh, ya, its still work (granted work that can earn you a good bit of money)

Yes, REI is a great way to build assets and is a great part of a financial portfolio, but money is not everything.

I believe that you get the college degree for the job it will allow you to get. I am not an engineer because I love the science. I looked at the job that paid the most without grad school. It is just like buying this real estate. You look for the most money to be made with the least amount of work to put into it. You need to ask yourself, how much money is in this degree. You should then decide if it is worth your time and money to obtain it.

He can make $60k/year as a store manager for payless shoes without a college degree. He can make $100k/year as a store manager for Home Depot without a degree. The problem is the huge amounts of time you have to put in to make that amount of money. An engineer 5 years out of college can make $100k with no nights or weekends.

I don’t know how long you have to work in economics to make $100k.

It used to be you needed a degree to be an insurance agent, but not anymore, I guess. A lot of jobs do require a degree as a minimum still, although, I can’t recall any at the moment. Heck, even some administrative assistant - (don’t call 'em secretary) - jobs require a bachelors degree these days. :wink:

I agree with the others. To quit with only 2 terms left is very immature and shows a desire for short term gratification that will not serve you well in the future. REI is a tough business with a LOT of frustration, problems, setbacks, etc. If you can’t stick out getting a degree, I can almost guarantee that you won’t suceed in REI. In addition, having a degree as a backup is a smart move and the degree will open many doors in the future. People respect the fact that a person sticks with college long enough to get a degree. Conversely, being a dropout has a very negative connotation. There is absolutely no reason that you can’t start your REI career while you are in school.


wow, a quitter, can’t follow through, you guys are really really getting personal here. i’m not saying i am going to stop. i am going to stop if it won’t serve me in REI, which i don’t think it will.

i am not closing doors, i can always just go right back and get my degree if i want.

seriously tho, just laugh at me and think i’ll fail if you want to, but keep it to yourself. if i do i do, end of story and you were right; being negative and telling me i’m wrong or dumb isn’t going to change my mind. i’m not asking if you guys think it is a good idea (or looking for approval or support as somebody here claimed), most people think most of my ideas are dumb. on the other hand, i am doing much better than most people i know, so i do things my way and it works for me.

the way i see it, my pros of taking leave from my school:

PRO: save 8K in tuition
PRO: make at least 4K working that i wouldn’t have made if i took classes
PRO: keep my job, so i will have provable income of ~30K/year when i go looking for my first place in jan/feb '07

CON: no degree in hand to put on resumes
CON: negative connotations of being a dropout
CON: lost knowledge that otherwise would have been obtained by last two semesters

as far as those cons go, respectively: it doesn’t appear i will need a resume to prove anything in REI, negative connotations don’t bother me because i am criticized on many other things i do and other’s opinions of who i am do not bother me, and the lost knowledge is very minimal in terms of significance to my goals in life (and i will use that time for REI studies, so that actually makes that one a con).

i am really open to objections based upon how it would negatively affect me in REI. calling me a quitter without knowing who i am is pretty lame. if i make a decision that i believe is a better strategy, i am doing it because i honestly belive that, not because i am afraid of doing two more semesters at my school. so let’s leave that stuff out, and also whoever mentioned that i would have wasted those years i already spent, that is irrelevant, they are now a ‘sunken cost’. if, as of today, pursuing the degree further would hurt my REI goals, then it is a dumb move for me to do, no matter how many years were already vested. think of those as years vested in the wrong way, spending more years towards something i will not use is just wasting more too.

(if anyone really feels i’m making a horrible, horrible decision you can feel free to pm me, just post that you did in this thread, i dunno if it auto-alerts, and i will tell you a bit more about who i am and what i’m about. but let’s try to keep this STRICTLY in terms of how having the degree or not will affect me in REI, as REI is what i am pursuing, and i don’t really have interest in putting my goals in life aside for something that at best will be a crutch if i fail.)

Get your degree. It will open doors.If all else fails you have that degree to fall back on. It is worth it.

if i end up hating REI i can just go back and get my degree. my degree opens doors that i have no desire to go through.

it’s fine if you’re sure i’m making a mistake, and think that i will fail in REI and want to go get a 9-5 in some company. i just disagree. if i leave, i still have the ability to go back if i choose to. i have zero desire to do a 9-5, i want to be in investing and real estate in general. i am going to get my first property, and find a job working where i will learn about real estate, maybe working with a developer, helping construction, or as a realtor. who knows. but i’m not the least bit interested in the type of jobs that my degree will allow me to get.

that being said, again, any other objections, strictly in the REI paradigm, to not having a college degree? please don’t hold back telling me it won’t effect me in REI because you think it will make me make a decision (or reinforce my decision) that you think is bad.

i want to make a career out of REI. if the only reason i should get a degree is to have somethign in case i fail in REI, then i would be hurting my start in REI by setting up protection in case i fail. the thing is, even if i fail i will just work in REI-oriented jobs to learn and rebuild capital to start again. but please don’t tell me that a degree matters for REI if it doesn’t and you just feel better thinking i will get my econ degree.