(Original post by MSRED)
Interesting debate here. I am at a current MsRED in the US after looking at UK options.
Actually I would say it is the other way around. Americans will be more picky with your particular degree rather than your university. You will not impress anyone in NYC with a Columbia degree (probably half of the city has one) so you will have to say that you are a MsRED student. On the other hand, probably in Australia (or almost anywhere in the world), you can say you are a "Columbia grad"... and that's enough.
Comparing the UK and US R.E. degrees is a bit like comparing oranges to apples.
UK degrees are more suited for people with no experience (directly from u-grad) that want to kick into their first job at RE finance at JLL or CBRE.
US degrees are more suited for people with experience (most of them do not accept people with no experience, and average experience at MIT is around 5-6 years) and more orientated to development than to finance. In the good pre-recession times starting average salaries for schools like MIT were over $100k, not lower than a MBA.... and quite far from the £21k you posted before. In Masters in Real Estate your previous experience also counts a lot on your future job prospects.
So it is not that A is better than B... they are just different.
Columbia is not really aimed for people to start their own business (even MBAs are not). The issue about Columbia is that their class is really large (+100 people). Other masters (Cornell, Harvard, MIT, etc.) are about 20-25 students per year... and that helps placing students in the job market; Real Estate is quite limited in terms of job opportunities (compared to, for instance, an MBA or Master in Finance). So the "entrepreneurship" thing seems a bit like an excuse.
I can agree with you in the MBA comparison. However, I met quite a few MSRED grads from different programs (and reading the replies here, it seems it also happens in the UK) with MBA. The tricky question is that an MBA from a very top university will probably get you into R.E. if you want even if you don't have previous experience; yet a less-than-Top 5/10 MBA will not if you don't have a R.E. background.
When I looked at the UK, the two most interesting looked LSE and Cambridge... LSE more market-orientated and Cambridge more academic-orientated. Plus Cambridge is quite cheap.
Real Estate is a kind-of soft-degree (has anyone ever seen a ranking of Masters of Real Estate, like MBAs?) and MANY people have never heard about those kind of Masters of Real Estate (even in R.E. industry), so university-brand is more important than in other Masters. And for UK universities, LSE and Cambridge hands down in terms of recognition. Reading to me seemed interesting for the part-time option, and Cass looked a bit of a "cash-cow", job prospects out of that Master looked pretty grim.