You’re in desperate need of a career change, and you’re thinking that becoming a real estate agent might just be the path for you. But it seems like no college or university within driving distance offers a major in anything related to real estate. Now you’re wondering: What gives?
There isn’t a real estate university that you have to attend. Each state has unique pre-licensing requirements (hours & courses), and most accept online training through Real Estate Express or The CE Shop. But states like Colorado and Georgia do count real estate college courses toward these hours.
There’s plenty of state-mandated training that goes into getting your real estate license. Do you have to attend a real estate university, pursue other training types, or is this the type of career that requires nothing more than some on-the-job training? To find out, keep reading.
Educational Requirements for Real Estate Agents
There’s no need to attend any sort of college-level real estate courses to meet your state’s training standards. What you will have to do is fulfill your state’s hourly and course requirements to take the real estate exam and get your license.
Some states require multiple courses (Texas has six, for example), while others require many hours (take California, which requires 135 training hours).
Fortunately, many states permit future agents to complete these pre-licensing courses online.
You can quickly run through online modules to learn about state and national real estate concepts, sometimes in as little as three weeks.
You can opt for the exam prep packages, ace each practice exam with extensive question banks, and get your license in hand in just a few short months. This option is far more convenient than in-person, instructor-led courses that can consist of eight-hour sessions or extend your pre-licensing training upwards of three months.
And best of all, these online (and even in-person courses) are far cheaper than your average college course. You may be able to complete your entire pre-licensing for $200 to $300.
That’s a chump change compared to college courses, right?
States That Accept Real Estate College Credits
While it might not be the best idea in terms of finances and time, there will always be the allure of working toward a college degree or attending legitimate classes at a college. As such, there are a few states that will accept college credit in real estate courses toward the required hours.
These states include:
- Colorado (must be a degree in a real estate major)
- Georgia (six semester hours toward a real estate major is equivalent to the 75-hour pre-licensing course)
- Kentucky (six semester hours will count toward the 96-hour requirement)
- Nevada (three semester hours each in both Real Estate Principles & Real Estate Law)
- Oklahoma (six semester hours in a real estate major within three years of applying)
We want to point out that you might be able to use college courses within the real estate discipline to fulfill some (or all) of your state’s required hours/courses.
However, you also have to take into consideration the cost of the average college course. Considering the idea that the average college credit in America is worth a whopping $594.46, even six credit hours at a college will cost you an astounding $3,566.76.
This is over ten times the amount of a real estate pre-licensing course through online programs.
On another note, Davis College will allow agents to receive college credit after completing Ohio’s mandatory pre-licensing training. At a price of $100 per credit, you can earn two credits for the 40-hour Principles and Practices course, two credits for the 40-hour Real Estate Law course, and an additional credit for the 20-hour Real Estate Appraisal and Real Estate Finance.
While this won’t help you toward licensure, it can help you toward a college degree!
But some agents swear by their degree in real estate. So to find out why many agents are choosing to get a degree instead of simply fulfilling their state’s hourly requirements, watch the video below!
Hint: It has to do with what you might learn about real estate in a degree program, something way past what you might learn during a typical pre-licensing course!
Colleges That Offer Real Estate Courses or Degrees
Suppose you’re dead-set on completing real estate college courses (whether it be for the degree later on or the innate desire to attend college courses). In that case, you’ll want to be sure that you’re attending courses at reputable American universities.
U.S. News & World Reports—a source known to rank colleges and universities based on the education they provide students—has also taken note of the best colleges with real estate degrees. Of the many, the best include:
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- University of California-Berkeley
- New York University
- University of Southern California
Considering these universities are among the best in America, you’ll undoubtedly leave with a Bachelor’s Degree in hand, and a ton of useful knowledge learned from some of the nation’s best professors. At the same time, the title of “best universities” comes with a higher price tag. And on top of that, you’ll be fulfilling more than the bare minimum that your state requires.
Ultimately, you might be spending well over $50,000 for a degree in real estate—a Bachelor’s Degree that’ll take about four years to earn and isn’t even necessary in your state!
So are you starting to see why the most successful real estate agents didn’t earn a real estate university degree? It’s not a great financial investment for most agents!
Why Non-College Courses Are Your Best Bet
By now, you’re probably catching on—a degree in real estate is far too expensive and time-consuming to make it worth the effort during the pre-licensing process. But if you’re still on the fence, here are some definitive reasons why you should choose an online program instead:
- You can finish an online program through Real Estate Express, The CE Shop, or MBition in as little as three weeks instead of four or more years at a college.
- A degree in real estate (or a similar field) will cost you more than ten times the average pre-licensing course.
- No state requires any real estate agent candidates to have a college degree, let alone one that’s centered on real estate.
- College degrees aren’t usually self-paced, so you’ll have to put up with things like fall and summer breaks that prolong your degree.
- Most states don’t accept real estate courses toward the hourly state requirements.
While you might not need a degree or courses in real estate to get your license and thrive as an agent, you might want to take college courses to advance your career further.
For example, courses in marketing, graphic design, and accounting could ultimately help you with the daily tasks of being an agent.
Then again, you can learn many of these skills through YouTube videos, by playing around with computer software, or by earning certificates instead of an actual four-year degree. So basically, there’s no need to spend hundreds or even thousands on a college course if you’re a current/future agent!
A college degree is considered the “norm” for college-aged folks trying to advance their careers.
But in real estate, a degree or even courses in real estate aren’t necessary, though they can give you some extensive knowledge of manners to improve the trajectory of your career.
Your best bet is to complete your pre-licensing online through MBition, Real Estate Express, or The CE Shop. These online training modules can be completed in just a few weeks, are just a fraction of the cost of college credit, and will prepare you for the real estate exam.
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