Earlier this year I looked into a graduate degree program at Harvard for working adults. In the 30-plus years of my career, I've never found that my brand was in need of an advanced degree

But as I'm heading into the second half of my life, I found myself thinking, among other things that it might be nice to go back to school and study, that I might like to teach at a university in the future, and that since I'm living on the East Coast, it might be the time to pursue my dream of going to Harvard.

Simply put, going to get an advanced degree was an idea whose time had come for me.

Working adult degree programs seem to be springing up all over the place, but Lindy Schneider, of AmericasCollegeAdvisor.com says while going to college may be a fine idea, depending on your goals, getting a degree may not be.

"You need to determine what you want overall for your life and career and then reverse engineer a plan to get there," says Schneider. For example, if the goal is to have your own business, then you may only need to utilize the opportunities that a college provides in terms of learning the skills necessary to reach that objective.

Schneider suggests four ways entrepreneurs can take advantage of a college education -- even if they don't plan on wearing a cap and gown come June.

1. Secure an internship.

One advantage of enrolling in college courses is that they can open up opportunities for internships in the industry you are interested in. For example, Steven Spielberg did an internship with Universal Studios while he was attending college. Things went so well that he was offered a full-time position. He took it, and left before completing his degree -- and things don't seem to have worked out too badly for him.

2. Curate your own learning.

Depending on what knowledge you feel you need to either boost your own career or move your company to the next level, Schneider suggests choosing specific courses that fit your need. For example, all colleges from city to Ivy League provide regular and extension courses in such topics as: marketing, advertising, business communication, economics, business technology, management, public speaking, and business finance, to name a few.

3. Create connections.

The alliances and networking available in college courses with both professors and adult working peers is often an overlooked bonus of attending school. For example, you may have a winning idea for an invention that you plan to manufacture and market but need a team of resources to help you get there. Your fellow classmates might just be the cadre you are looking for.

4. Get discounts and deals.

A college ID and/or an email address ending in .edu can often lead to huge discounts on business purchases such as computers and software. In addition, many business associations offer a student membership rate at a fraction of the cost for a full membership.

Remember, companies don't discriminate based on age when it comes to being a student, so even if you are returning to school in your mid-50's, you are still eligible for student discounts.

As for me, I'm pretty sure that if I am lucky enough to be accepted into the advanced degree program at Harvard, I'll reap all the above benefits and get to proudly put on a cap and gown, one June in the near future.