Learn an Expert’s Opinion on Online Real Estate Degrees

There are numerous ways to study real estate online, whether your objective is to become a certified realtor or pursue a hobby.


Kent Ducote, a broker associate in Key West, Florida, who sells residential and commercial real estate, completed most of his real estate schooling remotely. He earned his Certified Commercial Investment Member, or CCIM designation through online classes, and he holds an online master’s degree in international real estate from Florida International University.

“You may be quite successful if you have the discipline to be fully on your own and self-study,” the 57-year-old explains.

While online degrees in the profession are available, that is not the credential that many students obtain to begin a real estate career, according to David Overbye, dean of academic affairs at the online REALTOR University, which provides a master’s degree in the subject.

“It’s quite easy to enter the field; it’s much, much more difficult to be successful in the field,” Overbye explains. “You must consider how you will arrange your career path as a real estate broker.”


Here are seven different ways to learn about real estate and possibly obtain qualifications in the profession online.

Fundamental free and low-cost online courses: 

There are numerous opportunities for learning about real estate for free or at a minimal cost. Experts can provide a general overview of the field or go into a more specific topic within the discipline.

For example, the website edX provides a free online course with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called Socially-Responsible Real Estate Development. Udemy.com also has a lot of possibilities, many of which are less than $20, such as classes in analyzing real estate and multifamily investment opportunities.

Other free possibilities can be found on websites like BiggerPockets.com and REALTOR.com. In some situations, students may be required to pay to obtain completion certificates. These often cost $30 to $150 on the websites of edX and the online education provider Coursera, for example.

Online prelicensure education: 

Aspiring real estate agents should examine their state’s licensing requirements; the type and amount of study vary. Aspiring real estate agents must typically take a prelicensing course, after which they will receive an official transcript or certificate to present with their application. In most states, students can complete that requirement online.

The website Real Estate Express is one option for prelicensure prep in many states. The cost of each course varies, but they are all fully self-paced. The CE Shop, 360training.com, and OnCourse Learning Real Estate are some other alternatives.

Many online learners “are working actively; they’re migrating either part-time or full-time into real estate,” says Tom Davidson, general manager of Real Estate Express. “Leaving that job to attend an eight-hour class session doesn’t work. So the online student will work in the evenings, during lunch, and whenever they can fit it in.”

State licensing test preparation: 

Those who have finished their prelicensure courses can also study for their state’s licensing exam online. But, according to experts, additional exam preparation beyond a prelicensure course can be advantageous.