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Statistics released by the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate (www.usc.edu/lusk) show an increase in job opportunities for young real estate professionals and reflect an improving job market for the industry.

According to the USC Real Estate Employment Report, the Lusk Center received 150 industry job openings in 2011 (through August), a 25 percent increase over the same period last year. In addition, most students in the class of 2011 received more than one job offer with better pay. This year’s average total compensation package was approximately $120,000, a 15 percent increase over 2010.

Lusk Center Chairman Stan Ross noted that the 2011 Employment Report, which was presented to the Lusk Board on Sept. 27, also shows a dramatic shift in the types of jobs available in the real estate industry.

“Shifts in the market, and the cyclical nature of the industry, are reflected in the types of positions our students have accepted,” Ross said. “During the boom period, 60 percent of our graduates took development jobs. But after the crash, that number dropped to 25 percent and it has remained there. In 2011 however, nearly half of jobs have been in finance, investment and asset management.”

Sonia Savoulian, Lusk Center managing director, noted that the quickly-evolving nature of the real estate industry can be a challenge for young professionals. Since hiring is often tied to an employer’s projects and transactions, opportunities are difficult to predict.

“USC places a high priority on familiarizing students with the industry’s unique hiring and recruitment practices,” Savoulian said. “Since most jobs come from networking and personal relationships, the Lusk Center helps our students foster contacts and parlay their network into jobs.”

The report also highlights the spirit of entrepreneurship of USC real estate graduates. On average, 10-15 percent of each class enters into an entrepreneurial venture, a trend that continued in 2011.

The Employment Report is an annual summary of job placements, salaries and employers of the most recent graduating class and includes students who completed the Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) program or an MBA with a concentration in real estate.

For more information or to view the full report, visit http://www.usc.edu/lusk/employers.

For more information about the USC Lusk Center visit www.usc.edu/lusk.

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