I have recently graduated from Real Estate Economics (REC) program so, today I would like to tell about this program and share some insights and pieces of advice.
Even though the name of the program sounds like it would belong to the Business School, it is actually organized by Engineering School of Aalto University. The program consists of major studies (60 ECTS), elective studies (30 ECTS) and Master´s thesis (30 ECTS) and by standard should take you 2 years to complete. Major studies will educate you on the management, valuation and investment analysis of commercial real estate, market analysis, real estate law and land management. You can check the full curriculum here.
As you may already know, the studies in Aalto University are very flexible, meaning you can build your own schedule by registering yourself to the courses. So basically if you feel like you are overloaded during a particular period, you can take the course next time it will be organized. However, I really do recommend to try and push through the major courses during your first year with your own study group because you will be able to help each other and learn together. The courses are not easy especially if you come from not an economical and statistical background but professors and course assistants usually helped us or gave some additional materials. Besides studies make sure to join such organization as Fundi where you can always network with alumni´s, companies in the field and your fellow students. Fundi organizes many events and webinars online so, make sure to take full advantage from them. More about Fundi.
For your elective studies you can choose to do a minor or just take any random course at Aalto that you like. I took Finnish and Chinese languages, economics, digital marketing and storytelling. Regarding master´s thesis in REC, you can read one of my previous posts here.
Few things to keep in mind if you want to study in REC at Aalto:
- The program is focused on Finnish real estate market so, in case you want to go work abroad right after your graduation, you should educate yourself on other RE markets.
- The program educates you on commercial real estate management and investment analysis. In case you want to work in residential real estate field, you would probably need some additional education for instance realtor license etc.
- Master’s programs usually last 2 year so, you really have very limited time when it comes to internship. Basically you have 1 summer to experience being a trainee so, pick wisely because most probably you would end up writing your master´s thesis for this company and the experience you will get will direct you at first in your career.
- Career after graduation – this is where it gets tricky. Even though the program is in English and the biggest firms produce their research and reports in English, unfortunately still you most probably would need to have good Finnish language skills in order to get a job in RE in Finland. The programme offers a good starting point for a career in the real estate sector, beginning with working as an analyst, valuer, surveyor, researcher, expert etc. The quality of education you will get is definitely very high so, you will always have options of going to work abroad or continue at Aalto for PhD program.
Master’s student of Real Estate Economics at Engineering School