Statistics is one of the core skills of data science, so you would need to have a pretty strong foundation in statistics. If you find statistics boring, developing mastery of statistics without interest or curiosity in the subject would be pretty hard.
So you definitely wouldn’t be able to be an data scientist without a strong foundation in statistics, but I think it’s worth digging a bit more into the assumptions behind your question.
Interest in data science has been growing ever since it was dubbed “the sexiest job of the 21st century”. The rapid growth of the field is understandable, especially if you’ve seen the typical income data scientists make.
Are you considering pursuing data science because it’s a lucrative career path? There’s nothing wrong with going with a secure, high-paying career, but it’s not going to be a strong enough reason to motivate you or drive you to become a data scientist and then to sustain your continued development thereafter. Data science is a fast-moving field that will require continually picking up new skills and staying on top of new developments.
To be able to have a long, fulfilling career, make sure you’re pursuing data science for the right reasons.
Before you play jazz, you need to drill scales and learn how to play your instrument.
As with other skills and topics, learning in the beginning tends to be difficult and not enjoyable. Some people pick it up quickly, others have a natural aptitude for it, but for most of us, we put in the hard work until we get to a point where things come more naturally and become enjoyable.
Math, in particular, is susceptible to losing learners early on. A good teacher has a big impact on whether you love or hate math. I know of a person who initially hated math and thought that he had no ability to learn it, but he eventually had a good teacher who gave him a newfound appreciation and understanding of math. Now, he is a statistics professor.
Look back on your history with statistics. Did you have a bad experience? If so, you may want to revisit statistics. Or, did you learn a bit about statistics, but still found it to be boring? If so, then data science may not be a good fit.
Data science doesn’t have to be your passion because it can be pretty hard to know what kind of work you’ll find fulfilling based on following your passions and emotions. It’s difficult to know whether you’ll even enjoy the work, especially because you don’t have experience with data science.
Consider learning about data science through shadowing, internships, or completing some guided projects. You’ll learn a little more about whether it’s the kind of work you will enjoy doing and find fulfilling.
Remember to be true to yourself and seek self-knowledge. Don’t fool yourself, but also remember that worthwhile pursuits are not easy. Good luck!
Originally published on Quora.