Short version: If I am 26 now and have a bachelors in accounting, is it realistic to have a shot at masters or doctorate level (bio)statistics by mid to late 30s? Assuming I prepare now.
Long version: I am a math and science lover. I read about both as a hobby and am learning Python and enjoy it too recently. Upon reading some papers in the Journal of Biometrics & Biostatistics I thought I found a field interested in the same things as I - critically examining the methodology of how studies are performed (I'm aware there's more to this area however).
I'm also pragmatic though, which is why I never went with science in college. Right now my plan is to continue in accounting, get my CPA, and be financially independent in ~10 years. Throughout this time I want to set myself up as best I can for a second career in statistics/science, by taking courses or pursuing a part time masters degree if possible.
Why not pursue this now? I value financial independence. It is a risk I can't take to go back to school now and have more debt when I'm already set up to have a good career as is. If the option exists to explore statistics later in life in a relatively risk-free way then the choice is clear, no?
Am I wrong to think there is any hope of exploring stats by mid-30s? The biggest issue i foresee is having to relocate for school or a job. But perhaps after some number of years away I could return to my area and I'd be fine with that.
Can anyone advise if years from now (age 30-32 for example) pursuing a part-time masters in applied statistics is wise or optimal in light of my ideals?
Is there any hope of getting into a biostatistics doctorate program if I am in my late 30s but have completed a masters in statistics along with great GRE scores and research experience/publications?
Is it realistic to reach out to professors/researchers while I am unaffiliated with a university to do volunteer work in order to gain research experience?