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I tripled my income with data science. Here’s how.
Over a year ago, I lost my job to the Covid-19 pandemic. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Just over a year go, I was working part time as a private tutor while studying.
I was earning only slightly more than minimum wage during this time, just enough to cover expenses like food and petrol.
I lost my job during the pandemic, and was told that I could only go back to teaching once the nationwide lockdown was lifted.
After this happened, I suddenly realized I had a lot of free time. I didn’t have to attend classes at university any longer. I also no longer had a job.
I took this opportunity to teach myself data science.
In just over a year, I managed to triple my salary by creating multiple streams of income with my data science knowledge.
1. Data science job
I managed to land a data science internship which then turned into a full time job offer.
There are two advantages of taking a full time data science job:
Although this isn’t where a huge portion of my income comes from, its consistent, which I like.
I learn something new everyday. I work on my communication skills when talking to people in different teams, build and scale machine learning models to large datasets, and come up with different techniques to improve customer journey.
The best part about this job is that unlike freelancing, I don’t get to choose the projects I work on.
This means that even if I don’t know how to do something, I have no choice but to learn within a day or two or get it done.
The task almost always gets done, and I walk away having learnt something new.
Also, as an introvert, I used to find it difficult to communicate with people and present during team meetings.
I didn’t really have a choice once taking on a role as a data scientist, because a lot of my work involves presenting model insights and gathering business requirements from the client.
Due to this, my communication skills have improved dramatically over the past year.
2. Data science blogging
During my free time (usually at night or during weekends), I write for data science.
I started out with writing articles around projects I built, in order to strengthen my portfolio.
I enjoyed creating, and my articles were a way of sharing my journey with others. I didn’t know anyone else at that time to study with, and nobody I knew shared the same interest as me in data science.
I wrote so I could document my progress, and connect with a community of like-minded people who shared the same goals as me.
Over time, I realized that my articles added value for people who were on the same journey as I was.
As I wrote more, what had initially started out as a hobby began to generate revenue.
I was able to make passive income by simply writing about my experiences and posting them online.
I am now a top writer in technology and artificial intelligence on Medium, which is more than anything I could’ve imagined.
3. Affiliate marketing
Once I started learning data science on my own, I would share links to the courses I was taking on Medium and LinkedIn.
However, it is only recently that I discovered affiliate marketing.
With affiliate marketing, you can share courses that you enjoyed with other people. If someone else clicks on the course link you shared, a small percentage of their course fee will go to you.
I am yet to earn a lot from affiliate marketing, mainly because I am very selective about the courses I promote.
I have taken almost all the courses I promote, and have done extensive research to compile the rest.
So this is a very small income stream, but I’m still adding it to this list.
Last year, I was looking for ways to make money online.
I surveyed sites like Fiverr and Upwork to see if I’d be able to take up any gigs, since I really needed a new source of income.
However, I felt like these platforms were overly competitive, and I didn’t really fit into any of the categories on these sites.
After learning data science, I realized that there was a pretty big market for freelance data scientists.
There are many companies out there that don’t require an entire data science team, and hire people on a contract basis to build and deploy models for them.
I’m currently working on a one-off machine learning project for a client, and I’m learning a lot along the way.
I also get freelance offers from publishers and technical sites to write data science articles for them.
All my clients have reached out to me after reading my articles or my LinkedIn posts, which is why its a great idea to write data science articles on Medium and build a social media following.
I’ve also recently started offering consultation sessions for people who are trying to learn data science or break into the industry, which is another source of my income. Again, I get most of my clients from my LinkedIn profile and Medium articles.
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