As professional or aspiring data scientists today, we face so many challenges: Learning new skills, improving existing skills, building a strong professional network, job hunting, and landing a role. Data science is one of the glamorous tech fields at the moment, from being an analyst to deep learning professional. The resources to learn are many, the interested candidates are there, but the job availability is not always a match.
To move on in your career, especially in data science, you need to build more projects, hone your skillset, and prove your value as a data scientist. But, how are you going to do that if you can’t find a job or if you weren’t given a chance to put your knowledge to use and prove you can use it correctly?
One of the great options to improve your skills, gain experience, strengthen your portfolio, and have an income is freelancing. Personally, I am a big fan of freelancing; although I am fully aware that succeeding as a freelancer is not easy, it’s very doable. As a freelance data scientist, you can choose the projects that you find interesting and really want to work on. You can also set your hourly pay, and most importantly, you get to be your own boss.
Perhaps my favorite thing about being a freelancer is the freedom of time. You get to choose when to work and when to take some time off, which is not always an option in regular 9-to-5 jobs. So now, you probably have a few questions, like, how do I get started with freelancing? Where do I find a freelance role (a gig)? What kinds of gigs exist out there?
I answered the latter question in another article, and I will write one answering the first question later this month. But today, let’s focus on the middle question, “where can I find and browse available data science freelance gigs?” So I will focus today on the top 6 websites you can use to find freelance data science roles.
№1: LinkedIn Job Finder
I will start with a great website that is often ignored, especially when looking for LinkedIn freelance gigs. Of course, we all know the professional networking website, and some of us have found our full-time job on LinkedIn. But, LinkedIn won’t probably come to mind if you’re looking for a freelance project.
LinkedIn can be used to look for freelance jobs; the trick is to filter the role type to “contract” or “temporary” only to see the freelance roles. Another good thing about using LinkedIn to find freelance roles is that you can set your experience level only to see jobs that match your skillset.
Next up on the list is a website very popular with startups, AngelList. AngelList is one of the top websites to find freelance tech roles in general and data science ones in particular. So, all you need to do is build a potent profile and start browsing available roles.
On AngelList, you can find roles for every experience level. Whether you are a fresh graduate, a self-learner, or a professional, you find well-paying roles for your experience. The website has many roles, both remote and in specific locations, with the possibility of being remote.9 Free Quality Resources to Learn and Expand Your Python SkillsLearn Python regardless of your technical background.towardsdatascience.com
My next website is not your typical freelance website; it’s a community of developers and startups, Lemon.io. We all understand the importance of community, of belonging especially in the freelance world. However, being a freelancer may feel lonely; Lemon tries to overcome that by building an exclusive community.
In Lemon, you can find different freelance roles for all tech specialties, from pure Python to web dev to data science, with hourly pay anywhere from $35~ to $55. To ensure quality, you will need to pass a simple English test and technical interview with one of Lemon’s developers to join Lemon.
When you ask an experienced freelance data scientist to recommend you a website to find roles, one of the websites that you will hear often is Toptal. Toptal is a remote talent company that aims to match skilled people with projects that match their skillset.
Toptal is more than a hiring website; it offers many resources and events to improve your skills and learn more about the future of work. Once you pass the initial screening and based on your experience and skill level, you can have an hourly rate ranging from $20 to $100+.6 Lesser-Known Data Science Blogs That Are Worth Followingtowardsdatascience.com
Next on today’s list is a website famous for being the freelance holy grail, not just tech freelance, but any freelance out there, Upwork. Create a profile, pass the screening, start browsing available roles, or just wait for clients to contact you.
In Upwork, you can mainly find two types of jobs based on payment: fixed payment and flexible roles. The fixed price has a fixed price to a specific amount of hours, while the flexible ones have average hourly pay starting from $20 and up.
Last but not least is a freelance platform with over 20,000 scientists and experts on board, Kolabtree. Kolabtree connects freelancers of all levels of experiance to businesses of all sizes from all over the world, with hundreds of projects are posted every month, and you can filter it by the exact topic you want to work on, like data science or a more specific subject areas.
Kolabtree is free to signup for and starts applying for projects with an hourly rate starting from $30 on data analysis, machine learning, and statistical analysis projects.
As a data scientist myself and a computer science instructor, I fully understand the frustration of applying to tens of jobs and sometimes not hearing back from any. I know what it is like to feel unworthy and not enough, skilled enough, smart enough, and good enough. Unfortunately, the current way job hunting work tends to strengthen this feeling of unworthiness and leave the applicant mentally tired.
But, one of the ways I was able to overcome that feeling of being unemployable is freelancing. So, I decided to get out of the job-hunting world and make my own path to prove myself, to myself first, and to employers out there. I made a profile and started doing freelance projects. I started small, and the size of my projects and my skills grew with time.5 Python Books to Transfer Your Code to The Next Leveltowardsdatascience.com
So, if you reached a good point in your learning journey or got tired of your company and looking for something new, something challenging and rewarding, I suggest you give freelancing a try. Check the websites I proposed in this article out, and maybe you will find a gig that matches your skills and that you will feel excited about.
After all, you build your own path to success.