I also hated algebra. I loved basic math, geometry, statistics, business math and physics, so it wasn't a math thing....it was a "take this number and letter sentence and after doing these calculations turn it into another number and letter sentence".
I wasn't going into engineering, and knew I would never use it....to this day I have not used algebra for anything and still don't know why it wasn't considered an elective. It's VALUABLE, no doubt about that, but not every person or career needs it. (plus I also struggled with it...straight C's all the way thru, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I and Algebra II)