What are the essential ingredients to be successful in a data career?

If I were to really distill it to the bare minimum, it will be passion and having a strong numerate background.

(1) Why passion? In a data job, whether data science, data analytics and artificial intelligence, we are faced with frustrations from humans (stakeholders) and computers (coding & engineering). Passion will give us the "feel-good" at the end  when we clear these challenges because that is what we like to do. It  sort of pays us with the non-tangibles like job satisfaction and  self-actualization.

Salary level while important should never be  the main consideration for getting into a data-related job at all  because salary only raises your tolerance threshold which sooner or  later will be broken through if you are doing what you are not  passionate about. And if you get into a debt trap, then you are stuck in a lousy job.

(2) Why a strong numerate background? If you are  looking to build a career in data, you cannot run away from mathematics. Because mathematics is the "manufacturing process" of converting data  to relevant and actionable knowledge/insights. If you are not strong in  that area, you may choose the wrong "manufacturing process" resulting in  a loss of value you can provide. It's never about how many  "manufacturing processes" you know about, it is ALWAYS about which  "manufacturing process" you use to generate a solution or provide value  in the end. That is the valuable part of your employer/client. Solve challenges with data, period!

So...what are your thoughts? Will love to hear from you! You can share them with me on my LinkedIn. Please feel free to link up on LinkedIn or Twitter (@PSkoo). Do consider signing up for my newsletter too. Have a great May 2022!