I've enjoyed immensely so far reading the friendly replies on this forum After days of lurking, I'm now ready to throw in my quandary to discussion...
I'm a mid-life career changer, formerly a software engineer, who is willing to return to school and do whatever it takes for a fulfilling career. Currently I'm contemplating the areas of planning, RE development or RE finance, and are looking into any (or a combo) of the following degrees: MBA (finance, risk), MA in planning, or MA in RE development. Being at the initial stage of research, i'm without an articulated goal, unfortunately. So here I am hoping to receive some practical career advice.
Two directions I've considered are: 1) working for a RE development company to learn every aspect of the development process 2) working in the government in the area of community economic development. I would love to experience both because in the far future I'd like to start, or be a part of, a private-public venture as a developer or consultant doing community economic development, low-income housing, urban revitalization, and/or redevelopment etc. That being said, I'm aware there is so much to learn, and my vision will probably change as I explore further.
So for the short term, I was wondering which degree or degrees would best facilitate my entry? What are the pros and cons of starting from planning vs. RE development? I'm kind of scared to make a wrong decision b/c i heard it's pretty tough to find employment in either field. Another idea would be to get into RE finance doing modeling, investment option evaluation, etc. Could I make my entry that way? It would be a nice fall-back since my current skills are more apt for analytical work.
Thank you ahead for all the response and suggestion. I hope i made some sense....BTW- i'm in los angeles. Some words on the job outlook in planning/development in this region would be very much appreciated as well.