6 side hustles for an aspiring data scientist

As an aspiring data scientist or an employed professional, many opportunities exist for you to offer your skills to a broader audience through side gigs. While the difficulty and risk vary, experiences from applying your data science practice to areas outside your immediate career path can increase your expertise while even increasing your bank account.

By Ahmad Bin Shafiq, Machine Learning Student.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

Data science is without a doubt the most in-demand field today. No wonder data scientists with proficient skills are handsomely rewarded in jobs across the world.

Now, you could be a data scientist who’s comfortable in the current job or an aspiring one looking to make inroads into data science. Regardless, the ideas I’m about to suggest would certainly help you upskill, earn a good side income as a data scientist, and most importantly, be your own boss.


1. Writing articles


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If you have a basic knowledge of data science and your writing skills are good, you can earn a handsome amount of money just by writing articles. Medium is the best platform for beginners to get started with writing. Along with this, there are different websites that pay writers for original blogs. You can write for those websites, or you can even start your own blog (this will not only help you financially, but it will also improve your resume as well). In the case of your own blog, you will write blogs related to AI/ML/DL/DS. Once your blog reaches a certain threshold (views/traffic-wise), you can apply for monetization. If your monetization is enabled, then you will earn money for every view of your blog.


2. Participating in Kaggle competitions


There are many competitions regarding data science on Kaggle. By participating in them, not only do you learn something new and improve your skills, but if you win those competitions, Kaggle offers cash prizes to its winners. Also, if you have an excellent Kaggle profile, this will definitely result in a lot of exposure from recruiters, which can help you in getting a job!


3. Doing freelance work


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Freelancing is the most trending way to earn money from home. Especially in 2020–21 when everything is locked down and people are in their homes. So, you can start doing freelance work regarding data science on websites like FiverrUpworkfreelancer, etc. And as you complete more and more projects, your profile becomes more valuable, and you start to get more orders.

To learn more about how to start your career in freelancing, refer to these articles:

5 Tips for Novice Freelance Data Scientists

How to become a freelance Data Scientist


4. Teaching


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There is a common saying:

The best way to learn something is to teach it

In order to become a skilled data scientist, all of your concepts should be crystal clear. So focusing on the above saying, you can teach data science at your university as an assistant professor or start an academy at home or somewhere that teaches data science. Start from the beginner level and change things along the way. By starting to teach, you not only earn a reasonable amount of money, but you also start giving back to the programmer's community.


5. Starting a YouTube channel


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Creating educational videos around the topic you have expertise in is another great way to earn revenue. YouTube offers impressive rewards to content creators. Creating educational videos also allow you to build a personal brand and create your own influencer network. On YouTube, you can upload any content as long as it doesn’t violate the content policies.


6. Job or Internship


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Recent studies show:

Internships can be an effective bridge to stable employment

This is especially true in STEM fields — such as data science — where internships are a game-changer. This is because some data science skills can only be solidified when learned in a hands-on environment.

While doing an internship, you get to learn from a team of professionals and build a strong network while gaining practical and meaningful experience. Also, internships help you financially as well, and they open many doors in the future.

Tips and Advice on How to Get Your First Data Science Internship




In this article, I talked about 6 ways I have used or seen others make extra income as a data scientist. These ways vary in difficulty, risk level, and the amount of money that you can make, but all of them have the potential to help you develop your skills and earn $$$.