Switch to Data Science from Accounting
I'm currently 29 years old with almost 7 years of accounting and finance experience, and also working towards my CPA designation. In my 7 years, I have not only done accounting and FP&A, but also a lot of big data analysis/data manipulation/producing useful financial reports from raw data using excel, access, VBA and SQL. I'm currently working on further improving my VBA and SQL skills as I'm still a beginner in programming and never took any programming courses. All my programming knowledge of VBA and SQL is from google/youtube.
A month ago I heard about Data scientist job, and how its demand is increasing like crazy every year. I did a lot of thinking and realize that I have actually enjoyed data analysis more than accounting in my 7 years career, and thought perhaps working towards becoming data scientist would be much better for me than getting my CPA and stay in Accounting.
So I would like everyone's opinion whether or not this switch is a wise decision for me, and whether i will face difficulties in getting a Data scientist job. I know my competition will be with young 23 years old graduate with background in programming/computer science. So do i stand a chance? What should i do?
This is my action plan so far:
1) Drop CPA and enroll in Master in Data Science and Analytics program at Ryerson University
2) Start taking SQL, VBA, Python, Machine learning, SAS, R, and additional courses related to data science on website like Udemy, Coursera, DataCamp
3) Start doing projects on Kaggle.com once i feel comfortable with programming
4) Perhaps, attend conferences and seminars related to Data Science
I'm currently a Senior Financial Analyst, and my main duties do involve a lot of data analysis, and creating KPI/metrics from scratch using raw data, as well as automating reports using VBA and Access/SQL.