AFTER graduation, you will [continue to] learn how to learn, how to accelerate your learning process with smart people who get smarter because they accelerate how they learn ... away from academia, without institutional support, in difficult environments ... each of us must transcend our own algorithmic or predictable approach to learning or how our machine has been programmed in the past to recognize patterns and learn.
How you collaborate, communicate, work with teams of solid, qualified, antifragile LEARNERS will shape your career, success, satisfaction, friendships, life ... and our species.
Smart people are often suckers for the propaganda and comforts of respectable human systems, such as academia or bureaucratic machines built on piles of smart people who settle for calcifying into smart, predictable cogs ... but the world is chaotic and throws sand into the working of inflexible systems and smart cogs -- so how you learn will determine whether chaos serves you or defeats you. Learn to think in a generally antifragile manner rather than simply being resilient or defensively robust ... as you wrangle data, remember that the most interesting and useful things will tend to happen in Extremeistan.
Assuring quality of the data you are wrangling [or that some intern has wrangled] for the analysis is always going to be essential; the GIGO rule will always take precedence over the sophisticated wonkery. That is why it is so necessary for us to step back, see our roles in a larger picture. Being proficient in skill like Python or experimental design is awesome and necessary -- but do not settle for being pigeon-holed as just an expert in _____ or a phenomenal code jockey.
Data, like humans, have more interesting stories to tell than just the narrow questions we want to ask AND just because we have a bias, it does not mean that it's necessary to wrangle up compliant data to confirm it. Outliers need to be listened to; there's a reason why they show up, why they persist. Listen to extreme, challenging, heretical points of view ... especially when the local inquisition is angry about the uncomfortable someone can prove that the planets do not orbit around them. Not all uncomfortable, unpopular opinions should taken seriously, but some are absolutely essential and necessary truth. Beware of the zealots, even brilliant cartoonists, who claim to think independently when 97% of them conform to a generally-accepted truth and adamantly demand that others fall into line ... sometimes, cartoons are just metaphors for how seriously we should take cartoons.