For PhD, it's obvious that since you'll be doing research, prior research experience would be a larger plus over industrial experience.

But for a non-research (course-based) master's, do universities still prefer candidates with more research experience or would they prefer candidates with more real world experience?

Assuming both research experience and industrial experience are rather entry level (e.g. junior research assistant vs junior developer).

  • 1
    A couple of my friends got into the PhD (ahead of other people) because they had industrial experience. It just depends on what you are going to do. In theoretical computer science and in business administration, I assume, the answer will be the opposite Mar 14, 2018 at 11:45
  • This probably varies greatly between universities and programs. Mar 29, 2018 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


Based on my experience (for thesis based MSc): a big yes. Because universities are mainly interested in research and publishing papers. Although industrial experience might be relevant but research experience is key.

However, for course based master degree usually students are not required to publish. Thus, it might not be an extra point to have research experience.

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