Several years ago I passed the IoL DipTrans exam (German to English). Current job entails little actual translation work but requires plenty of language use.
I am now at the point where I could embark on a career in translation. Obviously I am a little rusty, and as technology has changed, I am wondering whether an MA in translation with a focus on machine translation would be a good idea to get back into it and bring my knowledge up-to-date, or would this be a waste of time, and would it be better to just plunge straight in and build up practical experience?
Are you perhaps confusing MT -- "Machine Translation" -- with "Computer Assisted/Aided Translation" (CAT) tools? If so, maybe you do need some sort of a refresher as they are very different. I'm not the best responder as I don't have an MA but as you already have the Dip Trans I'd have thought it would be sufficient -- and perhaps more appropriate -- to get to know how to use CAT tools (by either attending a course or just by using DIY tutorials) and to study your specialist subject area(s) in both languages to update your knowledge. That could just be by carrying out research from your home office too.
There are far more important concerns when running a freelance translation business than having this, that and the other diploma. Clients rarely ask for anything specific. They just need to know you can do the job. So any training in addition to the highly respected Dip Trans will be for your own knowledge and self-confidence. Getting some knowledge and skills related to running a small business is at least as important. Sometimes we have to be the experts as many accountants know little about sunning such a tiny but truly international business. And standing up to some of the translation agencies can be a challenge to anyone's negotiating, risk and time management and payment-chasing skills .