Real Estate Career Advice By Ko Wang

Where Are the Careers in Real Estate?

Stan Ross and James Carberry interview Ko Wang, Newman Chair in Real Estate Finance, and chair of the Department of Real Estate, Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business, at City University of New York.

What is the job outlook for this year’s graduates?

Most of our graduate students already have jobs in real estate, banking, finance, or other sectors. Some plan to enroll in our PhD program in real estate and pursue careers in teaching and research. Most students seem to do fine in their job search. The department is not aware of any student having difficulty finding a job after graduation.

And your undergraduates?

Some of our undergraduates will go on to graduate school. The rest are looking for jobs with investment banks, commercial banks, real estate companies, and other employers, mainly in New York. With more real estate investments taking place and the recovery of the secondary market, we are hopeful that we will see more opportunities for our graduating real estate majors.

Are students planning to work internationally?

We have quite a large number of students from Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and many plan to return to their home countries to work in family businesses or in real estate–related jobs.

How has the recession changed the real estate industry?

We are seeing a total restructuring of the real estate industry. For example, the secondary market will come back—this service is still needed—but it may offer less-complicated products than before. There also will be—or should be—more accountability among investors, issuers, and rating agencies. Responsibility cannot be put entirely on the rating agencies. The capital market for equity might also change. We might see fewer but larger REITs and more private real estate funds.

What will this mean for students planning careers in real estate?

Jobs will come back in development, finance, and other sectors of real estate—maybe more than before. Traditional job opportunites will come back after the real estate market stablizes. In addition, the continuing globalization of real estate will provide brand-new challenges and more jobs. For example, the development in China will put new products (supply side) and new capital (demand side) into the real estate market. The increase in demand for (and supply of) real estate products will certainly expand job opportunities for students in real estate. Our department aims to provide our students with more international experience to prepare them for these new challenges.

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