Im currently a 21 year old, I am undecided whether to go to school and get a college degree like accounting or some sort of business degree before getting into real estate investing, or I should just go for it? And if you think I should go to college first, what degree or degrees do you think is most beneficial to become a successful real estate investor? Can you please give me some advice? Thanks you so much!
I have a degree. And that degree did nothing for me except get me some cubicle job that I hated. If you are set on becoming a real estate investor, then do it. You can always go to college later (the opposite is true, also).
If you want to be a doctor or lawyer, go to college. If you want to be an entrepreneur, then jump in and get started. Find someone who is doing what you want to do and offer to pay him to teach you and take you under his wing.
With that being said, if you go away to college, it’ll probably be the most fun you’ll ever have in your life.
Just my opinion…
the maestro is right. I always say don’t go to college unless you are rich or you go to “make something out of yourself”. What I mean by “making something out of yourself” is that if when you come out you are something different than when you went in then you have “made something out of yourself”. For example if you major in engineering you graduate you made yourself an engineer, if you major in accounting and graduate you have made yourself an accountant, but if you major in art history and graduate you are still like when you went in. What that means that in general if you “make something of yourself” the market generally pays pretty well for those kinds of degrees. One bad thing about these “making something of yourself” degrees is that because you are a 23 year old newly minted engineer first job out of college making $70k/year, you have no fire at all to do anything entrepreneual AT ALL. All you want to do is rent the fanciest bachelor pad and drive the best sports car you can afford. My main mentor asked me a question. He asked me what is it that gets in the way of a great life…the answer is a good life. A 23 year old kid making $70k/year has a good life so he won’t do what it takes to make $250k/year by the time he is 30. A 23 year old kid making $12k/year will really strive to make $250k/year by the time he is 30. The main problem is that the kid that makes $12k/year won’t have the resources required to make it to the $250k/year level. Resources in cash and credit, access to people that can support him with knowledge like being in the room while people discuss the difference between cost and expense until it becomes second nature to him, being exposed to how decisions are made at high levels, having control of multimillion dollar projects and dealing with contractors pulling contractor tricks (yes even at those levels) and even introductions to people that can get him that extra look when his credit application looks kind of light, etc.
To borrow a phrase from the movie Wall Street “There’s no nobility in poverty”. The only people that ever brag about being poor are people that talk about that they used to be poor. In other words I would not recommend poverty just to develop desire. I would recommend (just like I did for my son) go to college but major in a “real” major. When you get out make as much money at a job as you can understanding that the job is not the goal. The goal is to slam money like a miser and put that money into a 250-500 unit value play apartment complex by the time he is 30. By the time he is 35 he is working because he loves the job not working because he has to feed his kids.
Looking back, I think you should get a related trade certificate/degree that pays well. Go to college to become a licensed electrician or plumber. It pays well, it’s in demand, and it’s a skill you’ll use in real estate investing. We’ve probably all came across people with accounting and business degrees who worked the counter at McDonald’s. When is the last time you heard of a licensed electrician or plumber doing that?
Unfortunately I bet we all have come across people who have degrees that are now working the counter at McDonald’s. Most of these people probably don’t have accounting or business degrees from reputable institutions, but rather these for-profit universities that offer “courses” online.
I can relate to you because I’m a 20 year old junior finance major at Clemson University. I plan to obtain a master’s degree or two immediately after college. I can tell you that what I’m learning now is directly applicable to real estate investing (I can and will have an emphasis in real estate). I have access to resources that I wouldn’t have if I had just skipped college and started REI. Neither of us can expect a good day job with only a high school diploma as we get started in REI.
Based on graduate data I can expect to get a well-paying job straight out of college - the degree I have has a high job-placement and the starting salary numbers are higher than most other majors. This income could fuel my REI goals (I have no intentions of buying a nice sports car right after college or anything like that). But I don’t want to have a regular 9-5 with a salary and working for someone else! I also have another route that I’m seriously considering with a geriatrics fitness and weight-loss center with my best friend, a PT major, and my father, a bariatric doctor. I won’t go into details on here, but having a degree will certainly help in starting this kind of business.
Feel free to contact me with any questions. I will make a TL;DR section below:
-Do NOT go to college just for a degree - avoid for-profit/online schools; go to a top 25 school; go in-state (tuition)
-Your degree CAN be a means to an end and also a great foundation for REI knowledge
-College is what you make of it
-You can be highly successful with or without a degree.
I wish you the best!
Real estate can be a great career. Both as an Realtor and as an investor. If real estate investing interests you then you should pursue it right now in this buyer’s market.
I would pursue real estate on two levels if I were you.
Level #1: Buy rental properties. The price of properties are at an all time low. Use a realtor to help you buy your first rental property. The foreclosure market is a great place to find discounted real estate. Plus there are a lot of first home buyer programs. Find a good neighborhood and get a home inspection. Do not take any risks right away. Now you will have cash flow, are building equity and are gaining valuable experience.
Level #2: While you are doing this, work to become a licensed realtor. You do not need to have a college education (though some community college courses could help) but you will need to take realtor courses to get licensed.
Once you are licensed, you will be able to sell real estate to earn commission and you can buy real estate for yourself and not have to pay as much commission. Sounds like a win win situation. Go For It!