In some circles, “Statistics” has a bad reputation—primarily because most of us had limited training though the techniques are applied in numerous fields. The pharmaceutical industry uses statistical tests to determine if new drugs are effective (or harmful), manufacturing industries implement statistical process control to maintain ever higher quality standards, politicians have increased the use of polling to drive policy decisions, and the list could go on.
But in the current discussions on STEM education, I have yet to see an argument where statistics is elevated in the curriculum the way “computer programming” has been promoted.
Is it the way we teach math in general—heavy on theory and light on applications? For many, the applications are what makes the work interesting.