Do You Need a College Degree to Become a Real Estate Agent? 

Karen D. Friedman
Nov 25, 2021
5 min

The path to most careers begins with getting a college degree.

But what about real estate? Do you have to go to college to become a real estate agent?

The good news is: no!

You don’t need a college degree to become a real estate agent. Actually, it's not even necessary to have a high school diploma to practice real estate.

Of course, if you do have a college degree, it can help you. But it’s not required to be a good real estate agent. Not all degrees apply to real estate.

Let’s examine both sides of “college vs no college” when it comes to pursuing a career in real estate.

We’ll also talk about the requirements to get your license. But first, let’s discuss the college advantages.

The Advantage of Going to College for Real Estate

As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to go to college for real estate. But, college has never hurt a person’s professional development. Enrolling in college for real estate comes with perks. Some of which will carry over into your professional growth.

Learning More about Subjects with a College Degree

If you already have a degree, it can help you practice real estate. For example: studying finance helps you understand confusing mortgages. When your client is in escrow, you may find it easier to explain a buyer or seller net sheet to them. You can provide financial advice to your clients.

But, that doesn’t mean that having any degree will give you an advantage. If you have a science degree, there might not be much overlap with real estate.

Another advantage of going to college for real estate is access to a broker's career. You can fulfill the experience required to become a real estate broker. A 4-year major or a minor in real estate will allow you to become a broker after you get your salesperson license.

Usually, you are required to hang your license for 2 years at a brokerage. Then, take additional courses before you apply for a broker’s license. With a 4-year college degree, you can expedite this process.

Developing Your People Skills

Don’t discount the value of college when it comes to cultivating people skills. College is a social environment. So, it teaches students how to interact with different personalities. Real estate is a “people” business and that's an important skill to have.

Introducing Critical Thinking

The design of college courses is to educate and promote critical thinking. This is crucial and useful during a difficult real estate transaction.

Omit, there will be some advantages to having some college experience or a degree. But, the question was, “is college necessary to become a real estate agent?” Nope!

So now, let’s explore the alternative if you don’t have a college degree.

What Do You Need to Succeed in Real Estate?

There are fundamentals that every person should have to succeed in real estate. This goes beyond the classroom curriculum. It’s personal mindsets and skills that will help you excel.

Have a Passion for the Career

Don’t underestimate the importance of having a passion for something. It’s the driving force that leads and motivates a person to pursue an interest. If you have a passion for real estate, you already have a foundation for success in the field.

A Love for Working with People

Real estate agents are in the business of helping people. If you are a “people person,” you already have the skills needed to be a great real estate agent. If you enjoy being of service to others, this trait will serve you well.

Don’t think of yourself as a “people person?” Whether you realize it or not, your previous work experience has prepared you to work with people. It’s how you interact with your coworkers and the customers themselves. Real estate agents apply people skills all the time in their careers.

If you currently work at a big company, see how many people you know and try to expand the circle. It should be good practice for when you become an agent! Also, this will expand your sphere of influence!

Willingness to Learn

Education will be a constant throughout your real estate career.

You have to complete a real estate school program before you take the real estate state exam. While licensed, you will learn about new laws, regulations, and contract updates. Upon renewal of your license, there will be continuing education requirements. Not to mention career training throughout your career.

To say the least, this career requires you to be open to learning new things. Having the mentality of being a lifelong student will help you improve. Be an education sponge – absorb everything!

The Requirements to Get a Real Estate License

We've explored the “college vs no college” question. Also, we learned about the merits of both sides.

Now, let’s get to the good part!

Whether you have a degree or not, there are only a few actual requirements needed to get your real estate license in California.

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Complete the 3 pre-licensing courses
  • Pass the real estate state exam

That’s it!

There’s no requirement to have your high school diploma or GED. Also, there's no requirement to have a college degree.

Enrolling in Real Estate School

Students can take the 3 pre-licensing courses at a college or real estate school. This satisfies the educational requirement to get your real estate license. Most real estate schools offer courses online, which makes them accessible to everyone.

It’s also worth mentioning that an accredited real estate school offers college-level courses. This doesn’t mean real estate school is hard. People often choose to enroll in real estate school over a college for a quick start to a real estate career.

Final Thoughts on Going to College to Become a Real Estate Agent

Whether you have a degree or not, people who want a real estate career have many things in common.

They want the opportunity to have their own business with limitless earning potential, the freedom of making their schedule, to provide a good life for themselves and their family.

They have a desire to help people.

The college experience will promote critical thinking and developing great people skills. This will help shape you into a great real estate agent. So, the takeaway is that a college degree can help, but it is not necessary.

What is necessary is to have great passion, people skills, and drive. These are the true key characteristics to succeed in real estate.

Every week, we release in-depth videos to help viewers become successful real estate agents on our CA Realty Training YouTube Channel. Also, if you enjoyed reading this article, we would love if you could share it with a friend who you think would get something out of it.

Karen D. Friedman
Nov 25, 2021
5 min