DS career advice for experienced MBA with marketing analytics focus?

I have an MBA in Marketing (U of Minnesota), 20+ years' marketing experience in CPG, an independent consultant for the past 7 years. I have solid business stats skills (including multiple/logistic regression, matrices, segmentation), and have been extending my skillset into R, SQL, Python, Tableau. I'd like to either focus my practice more into Marketing Data Science or return to a full-time role in that area - so, my question is whether I need the accreditation of a Master's in Data Analytics/Stats/similar or whether I can leverage my MBA and simply continuing building my own skills as I have done? Is there true value in that 2nd Masters, or can I demonstrate my proficiency by achieving industry credentials/certifications? Thank you for any and all counsel you can provide.

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If it was me, I would probably not spend too much time into intensive training, but having Python, R, SQL, and the fundamentals of machine learning, can help, if you don't have it already.

My background is in some ways not that different: many years of consulting, and working a lot on BI projects with business analysts and MBA's, sometimes feeling I was doing the job of an analytic MBA rather than that of a statistician. What matters most is bringing value to the company or client. I'm pretty much doing the job of an MBA today (among other things) in a role similar to COO yet have no formal MBA training. I learned on the job, but you have to have the right mindset if you do it alone without extra training. In the end, I learned far more than you can learn in any MBA program, and likewise, you could learn through your experience much more than the useful part of the value offered in data science programs. It depends whether you are a self-learner.

I also know some physicists who do much more data science than a "pure data scientist" and they do it it better too, working with sophisticated models, big and complex data, tools such as MATLAB or Informatica. Some of them transitioned from physics to Fintech doing pretty much the same analyses. Recently, the same transition is happening to me too, moving very smoothly without feeling any change, from experimental number theory (the physics of numbers instead of physics) to Fintech too -- using the exact same techniques.

I wish you the best in your career transition!

Thank you for your kind reply!


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