Commercial Grade is a weekly post by John Cicero, MAI who provides commentary on issues affecting real estate appraisers, with specific focus on commercial valuation. Today John talks about the declining enrollment in valuation studies.
Disclosure: John is a partner of mine in our commercial real estate valuation concern Miller Cicero, LLC  and he is, on Thursdays, one of the smartest guys I know. …Jonathan Miller
The New York University Real Estate Institute  is one of the most respected institutions of real estate education in the country. In fact, its reach is international, attracting students from throughout the world. It has a distinguished faculty (of which I’m proud to say I’m a member) largely drawn from the professional real estate community.
The graduate program offers a MS in Real Estate with a concentration in either Finance & Investment, Asset Management, International Real Estate, Development or Valuation. For the past four years that I’ve been an adjunct there, the number of students graduating with a concentration in Valuation has been about one or two a semester, out of hundreds of graduates. The vast majority tend to concentrate in Finance & Investment or Development.
The Real Estate Valuation and Analysis class that I teach is a required class for all students, regardless of concentration; administration’s philosophy (and rightly so) is that anyone in any real estate discipline should have a basic understanding of valuation. Last spring I also taught an advanced Seminar in Valuation class, which is a requirement for those concentrating in Valuation. I had four students in that class which was apparently large relative to past classes; at times this class has run with only one student.
The University is now considering the elimination of Valuation as a concentration option. To me this is perhaps one of the clearest signs that the new generation of bright motivated young real estate professionals do not see a career in valuation as worth pursuing.