Freelance Data Scientists Could Be The Next Big Trend

These times of uncertainty have brought about a significant change in the culture of organizations. Remote work ensuring business continuity has allowed the companies and their heads to breathe a sigh of relief. Another trend that has taken off during the pandemic is that of hiring freelance data scientists who can help in coding programs and also solve business problems while working remotely.

Companies nowadays are looking to hire freelance data scientists rather than a full-time core team to curb costs and maintain productivity in these troubled times. This has led to a boom in the freelance world of data scientists. Another reason that companies would rather hire freelance data scientists is the fact that this allows a lot of flexibility, allowing more return on investment for them.

The market size of freelancer jobs in India, as a result of COVID-19, is estimated to grow to approximately 30 billion dollars by the year 2025 according to industry experts. This will be extremely beneficial to the companies and also help the data scientists to stay afloat by freelancing, after being laid-off by their employers due to the pandemic that has affected each and every industry down to the core.

An advantage that comes with working as a data scientist is the flexibility it offers. Data scientists can work remotely from anywhere in the world by using online tools that are readily available to program codes. With innumerable employee tools and collaboration available, it is making the task easier for businesses and corporates to keep a tab and co-ordinate with the freelance and contract-based data scientist. Social distancing and remote working becoming the new norm have brought along with it options like Github, Gitlab, and Bitbucket. These new source control options can help employers in running their business smoothly amid the present crisis and that too at a low cost. Hiring gig workers and freelance data professionals will be of significant importance as the current era has created a freelance boom in the data science ecosystem.

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Getting The Best Data Scientist – Need Of The Hour

Leaving the geographical bound boundaries behind, freelance data scientists, many of whom have domain specialization like machine learning, financial analytics, data warehousing, to name a few, will be beneficial for companies to hire specific data professionals for one particular type of work and concentrate on one project at a time. Having the capability of working on many projects for different clients simultaneously, they acquire the best time management strategy, which in turn will help the company with meeting deadlines easily. Besides time management and the added benefit of flexible schedules, it has been proven that freelance data professionals feel more motivated to complete their projects on time than their regular counterparts.

A blog released by the president of GreatBizTools, a company specializing in designing, developing, and implementing human resource management systems for business upon research stated that freelancers and contract workers are more motivated to work as they are driven by the work chosen by them and their passion too. Staying committed to work can be equally rewarding and satisfying. They have the choice of moving onto another gig in case the one they are working on becomes a tad boring or uninteresting. In comparison, full-time employees sometimes do perform their work although they may be far from passionate about it.

Employers are at an advantage when hiring a contract-based data scientist as they are required only for solving business problems and working on specific projects, and need no full-time recruits for their core team. These contract-based data scientists upon working with multiple companies do not fall under the category of regular employees and hence cannot avail of the additional benefits given to their in-house employees. Some disadvantages include the inability of managers to directly supervise them and the difference in time zones for freelance workers residing in different countries causing communication gaps and at times, missed deadlines. Another critical point to note is that data scientists work with sensitive information about the company and hence it is essential to hire trusted data scientists.

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Freelancers

The ongoing pandemic has left its after effects all over the business world. Professionals of all streams are facing uncertainty regarding the future of their careers. Finding data science freelancers is becoming increasingly easy thanks to numerous applications and web portals that allow easy collaboration. Budget constraints and the flexibility of the freelance data scientists are the main reasons why there has been a freelance boom. Along with this boom there has been a rise in competition amongst data scientists, leaving its impact on the business environment for the next few years. 

Many developed countries are in the process of developing guidelines to be able to incorporate the rise in numbers of freelancers due to the current situation. While the US has started a stimulus package that is worth $2 trillion under the CARES Act, France is also coming up with grants to support the freelancers. Many more laws are being created each day to support independent contractors and freelance data scientists, allowing them access to employee benefits provided by the corporations.

The financial sector is finding ways to cope with this calamity by adapting to the change of hiring more freelance data scientists rather than an in-house one to be able to survive this economic distress.


  • “How To Brand Yourself In The Data Science Gig Economy Amid COVID” | Gigger News | August 11, 2020
  • “The Coming Boom For Freelancers” | Elaine Pofeldt | June 12, 2020
  • “How The Freelance Boom Will Impact The Position Of In-House Data Scientist” | Sejuti Das | June 23, 2020

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