- How to Develop Online Revenue Streams as a Data Scientist
- Online Competitions/Hackathon
- Creating Educational Content
- Career Progression Advisor
- Contributing to Open Source
- Sell digital products
How to Develop Online Revenue Streams as a Data Scientist
Exploring some of the different approaches which can be used in order to create a side income online.
Working as a Data Scientist for a company can be a really rewarding opportunity, with average salaries in the US reaching about $117,806 per year in 2021 .
Although, being a Data Scientist also makes it possible to create different revenue streams which you could use to generate a side income or to create your own business.
As part of this article, we are going to explore some of the most common techniques which you could use in order to start using your skills online to generate some form of income (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Side Income Techniques (Image by Author).
One of the most common ways to generate a side income is to work as a freelancer. In this case, you could offer to solve Data Science/Machine Learning problems and set an expected cost per hour/project. Some of the most commonly used platforms in order to promote your services and get contacted by potential clients are:
In case you decide to opt for Upwork, the platform recently also allowed you to share your Azure Certifications in order to stand out from the other freelancers.
Professionally joining online competitions and Hackathons can also be another good investment as these kinds of events challenge you to learn new technologies and to work under pressure while giving you the possibility to win considerable prizes.
For Data Science, Kaggle is by far one of the most popular platforms to join these kinds of competitions with prizes reaching up to 100,000$. Similar types of competitions can additionally be found on platforms such as DrivenData and Topcoder.
Alternatively, there are many different other online platforms that you could use to try to find your preferred competition such as:
Finally, big tech companies and universities also tend to organize these kinds of competitions and this might be a good starting point if you are interested in joining competitions in person around your local area.
As an example, throughout the past few years, I had the opportunity to participate in different Hackatons organized by companies like Facebook, Google, and JPMorgan. Taking part in this sort of events not only challenged me to learn new things in a short period of time but also made it possible for me to make new connections with like-minded people and even win some prizes!
Creating Educational Content
Creating online educational content can be another great way to challenge yourself to keep updated with the latest in your field of expertise while generating a side income.
Some of the possible approaches which you could take to make this possible are creating:
- Blogs (e.g. Medium Partner Programme, Personal Website)
- YouTube videos
- Online Courses (e.g. Udemy, Skillshare, Educative.io)
- Newsletters with free and paid tiers (Revue, Substack)
- Talks for online events/conferences
For example, writing on Medium made possible for me to continuously remind myself to learn new things and thanks to that later on I also had the opportunity to be invited to speak at conferences and online events in the UK, Germany, and Italy!
Career Progression Advisor
Once you become an experienced professional, you could also generate a side income by providing different forms of services to people with less experience or who are planning to switch careers. Some examples are:
- Mentoring (e.g. Springboard, Mentorcruise, SharpestMind, SpeedyMentors, The Mentoring Club)
- Mock Interviews
- Tutoring for Data Science
Additionally, nowadays there also exist different online platforms like TechTree, which makes it possible to get rewards by referring friends/colleagues to new job opportunities.
In my case, I made use of mentoring websites before as an end user, and I have always found them really useful especially when considering moving to another country for a new job (so that to find out more about the culture there and the possible salary ranges in the area).
Contributing to Open Source
Working on Open Source software can also potentially provide many different forms of rewards. Some examples are:
- Creating an open-source library with a free tier and a paid tier for professionals and enterprises (e.g. Python libraries such as Plotly and Streamlit follow this kind of method).
- Joining paid open-source contributing programs such as Google Season of Docs (Season of Docs is an annual program organized by Google aimed at connecting technical writers with open-source organizations in order to improve libraries documentation).
- Creating a Donations page for your free services, to make it possible for your users to help you maintain your projects (e.g. Github donation button, Buy me a coffee, Patreon, etc…).
- Sell your private Git repositories and snippets using online markets such GitMarket
Sell digital products
Nowadays it can be quite easy to create a product online and try to sell it on various online platforms. Some examples of digital products could be:
- Books, tutorials, articles, templates
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) available on demand
One of the most commonly used platforms, in order to sell digital products, is Gumroad. APIs can instead be publicly advertised on platforms such as RapidAPI. In case you are interested in learning more about how to create your own APIs and make them available online in order to generate profit, additional information is available at this link.
For example, I created in the past an API to automatically convert Medium blogs into a Markdown format ready to be used for Jekyll based websites, and a digital product in order to help Notion users to create study notes.
 Indeed.com, Build a career you’ll love. Accessed at: https://www.indeed.com/career/data-scientist/salaries