Research projects or Work experience for MS in AI


I am a third year ug(4 year course) student at IIT Kharagpur.
Iam very interested in data science and want to do MS in ml.
I can stay one more year(total 5 years) in the same course to get a dual degree and I can do research projects while here and may be publish a research paper.
Or I can get a job as a data analyst after 4 years and gain experience.
Which path do you think might help me into a top tier university for MS.
During my fourth year whether or not I go for job, I will take Machine Learning, advanced ml, NLP courses.
My CG is 7.6 and I have good knowledge of data analysis in python, I regularly participate in kaggle, won 2 data science competitions at our institute, I am enrolled in mechanical engineering dept.


@kunal @tavish_srivastava can you please answer this question.


Hi @vikas,

If you aim is MS, I’ll suggest you start preparing for GRE as early as possible. In the meantime, try building your resume. Research paper helps but hands-on experience has more weightage (internships or projects). It’s good you started the competitions part. Try getting more experience in it. And try following blogs and current trends, helps you build the knowledge.

Also there’s no set path. You could try any of the above paths and get admission. I know a person who got in NYU just on the basis of BE project (no work-ex, no internship, no competition) (PS: the project was awesome, don’t underestimate it).

Good luck for your endeavors.


It doesnt matter what course you take. understand what those Top tier universities are investing on research in these fields. If you accomplish anything in those lines, the professors may actually prefer someone working on their field of research.

Unless your profile is going to interest your proff on an area that he sees potential on your profile is as good as any other IIT profile is.

At the same time there is no point doing something you wont like. So research your schools as well. Understand what the current trends are and if they are in line with your interest. Then start investing in those areas in your UG. If that 1 year reasearch is going to give you the exposure that the top schools are also investing on, choose that. If practical work experience makes more sense for the same, do work.

To me its about your profile and how closely the professor thinks he can make the best use of you in this research.