In this world where the technology changes so often, data science has emerged as one of the winning careers to pursue. It is not only the job title that attracts people to pursue this career, but also the amount of money a data scientist earns.
However, despite the fact that working for a big firm as a data scientist can be fun, stimulating, and rewarding, many professionals nowadays are quitting their job to work as an independent or freelance data scientist. The reason is simple — freedom. Not everyone likes to get up every morning and head to the office with a tag around their neck; there are people who want to work according to their convenience and on their own terms. For all of them, freelancing is a great choice.
So, here is how you can get started with your freelancing gigs.
Become An Online Instructor/YouTuber
When we talk about working as a freelancer, the first thing comes to our mind is to be at home and work. But, have you ever thought that you can teach and influence others from home?
Udemy: Started in 2010, Udemy is one of the best online learning platforms for both who want to teach and who want to learn. As of 2018, the platform has more than 80,000 courses available on the website which includes courses from several industries and verticals. If you are a data scientist and want to share your knowledge with people around the world and also earn handsome money, then Udemy is definitely the platform you should look up to. Just visit the Udemy website and signup at ‘Become an Instructor’ section. Udemy provides a platform where you can create an online video course and upload it. It showcases your course and every time a student purchases your course, you get paid. When you are an instructor at Udemy, the platform gives you complete support and guidance on your courses; from the time of your course creation to reviewing it to getting it up and live.
YouTube: YouTube videos and tutorials have become the go-to platform for all content creators. From Vines to vlogs to informative videos, YouTube has everything. By fulfilling the platform’s criteria, an instructor can earn money by monetising the channel. However, being a YouTube content creator is way more than earning money; it is about delivering valuable content and making viewers happy.
Word to the wise: When you are an instructor, don’t think how much money you can make by selling your content. When you focus on giving value to people, help them learn new skills, and advance their careers, money gets redirected to you eventually.
Freelance Portals Offer Specialized Data Science & AI Service
When it comes to freelancing, there are hundreds of portals available on the internet that connect you to businesses that are looking for people who can work as a freelancer: Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, just to name a few. Also, you can check out Experfy and SageLegion, two of the best platforms that connects businesses with experts in Analytics.
Toptal: Toptal, recently launched the AI and Data Science service category, enabling businesses and organisations to tap into their global network to fulfil DS and AI service requirements. Today, companies lack bandwidth to meet the growing demands of data science and with the current talent shortage, businesses lean into freelance portals to access top quality data science and AI talent. Over the past two years, Toptal has witnessed a 145% increase in demand for skilled artificial intelligence and data science talent. According to Toptal, this new specialised service will leverage its network of global talent and will help businesses staff artificial intelligence and data science initiatives. By building a solid profile and portfolio, data scientists/data science specialists and engineers can meet the demands of businesses with their specialised skill-set.
Create Your Own Website
In this internet-dominated era, it has become imperative for a business to have a strong online presence. And for freelancers who don’t usually offer their creative ideas on a stand or operate from a brick and mortar, having an online presence is an absolute must. So, one of the best ways to establish yourself as an independent data scientist is to have your own website. When you have your own website, you have your own identity — it works like a portfolio that the world can see. With a website that showcases you as a brand and your work, you can always stay ahead of the game.
Here are some things to focus on while creating your website:
Homepage: Clients need to know who you are and what you do, as a data scientist, focus on making it data science-centric; it will help attract customers.
Services: This section of the website needs to be clear and detailed with all the services mentioned that you are going to provide. Talking about the pricing, you have to do a detailed research and then decide your pricing. Make sure your prices are lower than the other players in the arena (you can always increase it when you establish yourself).
Projects: Do not forget to highlight your previous works (the best ones though) as it will help your clients understand your work better. If you are entry-level, then you have to do some public work to add things up to this section.
Testimonials: Customers always have the upper hand, so don’t forget to harness the power of satisfied customers — include a testimonial section.
About page: Use this section to summarise your unique identity, work ethic, and values.
Contact: Once you are done stunning your visitors with your website, give them your contact details. From contact form to email to phone numbers to social networks, provide all the ways to reach you. Also, add your details in the Footer of your website.
Word to wise: They say no matter what field you work in, you should always educate others. Whether it’s pdf or doc or video, try to provide educational material to your visitors — it is always considered to be a good practice.
For a data scientist, learning never stops, so it is always advised to learn from fellow data scientist. The internet is loaded with hundreds of online forums and blogs for data scientists where you can read, learn, share ideas, and even collaborate. By becoming an active participant in such activities, you not only learn but also create an identity for yourself with valuable insight.