Since you are preparing to start a business you may have considered getting a master's in business administration (MBA), if you do not already have one. Once considered a most distinctive and career-advancing degree, the almighty MBA has become somewhat ubiquitous. Higher education itself has truly become a big business. Colleges and universities are competing for students and, in trying to distinguish themselves, are coming up with all sorts of specialized twists on the basic business degree. This can be great, and may in fact be an important step in improving your standing as an expert in your field, giving you an edge over your competition. Shop around and see where a program might be best suited to you.
If you are a development professional for nonprofit organizations, there are specialized MBA programs that target this field. If you are planning to become an independent development professional you may decide this is an important credential to support your expertise. Similarly, other industry-specific programs abound. Check them out.
One way to determine the value of such a degree is to study the job postings in your field and see what experience and credentials employers are seeking. Whatever industry you choose to set your stake in, know the landscape. Even though you are not looking for a job because you plan to be self-employed, it is useful to know the industry norms.
Whether you are in the early years and looking ahead to a dream career for the future, or you are ready to shift career directions, you can find a wealth of programs, with and without degrees, to get you on your way. Many community and junior colleges offer programs in everything from interior design to running a funeral home. There is no fluff here, only the concrete, specific topics needed to get you going. Plus, many colleges can assist you in getting internships in your field of choice, which may lead you to clients over time. The financial investment at a community college will be a lot easier to swallow than at an elite private college. It is up to you to weigh the relative advantages of any educational option.
No matter what your particular combination of education, training, and life experiences may be, when all of these experiences are stitched together, you may find that they have prepared you for your new independent venture. However, be sure to look critically at your saleable experience, and where you need to fill in the gaps. You may not need a university or even a community college setting to fill out your resume for your new business.