I am a third year university student in Vietnam. My major is Computer Science. I focus on machine learning, especially deep learning for computer vision. I really want to have a master (or PhD) degree aboard but I'm not sure whether I am qualified for a scholarship or not. My family is not so rich that I can afford the tuition fee for a graduate program. The followings are description about my future direction and information about me.

About my future direction,

  • I want to study aboard and finally have a life there, my ideal destinations are Korea, Japan, the Europe (the Western and Northern), Australia or Canada.

  • I want to work on AI and machine learning, which expect employees to have master degree (at least)

  • I want to start my own business and apply my technical knowledge on that.

About my work experience and course work,

  • I study at Vietnam National University (1st rank university in Vietnam)

  • I got all A+ in mathematics-related subjects (e.g. Calculus, Linear algebra, Probs & Stats, Information theory, etc.). I also got a scholarship for excellent student given by my university (for a semester only).

  • My GPA is low (i.e. 3.25 / 4.0) due to low marks in non-mathematics-related subjects. As I estimated, I can reach about 3.3 or 3.4 if I get all A+ for the rest of my coursework.

  • I was high ranked (top < 10%) on several AI contests

    • Titanic contest and House price prediction are from Kaggle
    • A facial recognition contest held by a famous AI community in my country
  • I also worked on several AI projects, both in research (for my professor) and in the industry (for my company, which works on AI).

  • About my programming skills, I have worked with PyTorch, TensorFlow, Keras and a little bit GPU programming.

About comments from others who work with me,

  • I was highly qualified (currently) by my boss (at the company I'm working at).

  • My professor, who supervises at my university, told me that I was strong at mathematics but lack of algorithms-and-data-structure skills.

About my own thoughts,

  • I can read most of deep-learning-related research papers with almost no difficulty. I also write down my intuition for each of the paper I read.

  • I have strong mathematical intuition (as commented by my professor).

I am afraid of having low GPA (which is my biggest fear) when applying for graduate scholarships. Can anyone give my some advice ? Should I continue chasing graduate scholarships or work in the industry after graduation ?


The only valid answer you will get is from some institution with scholarship money to offer. The only way to get that answer is to actually apply. My opinion, not very useful, is that you have a chance and that you shouldn't worry too much about your GPA. Institutions look beyond that for indicators of success.

But two problems you will have are (a) some scholarships are reserved for citizens of the various countries, and (b) there is a lot of competition for admission and especially for scholarship money.

So, most of the details you present here are not relevant for an answer here but will be important to include in any application.

If you have a dream, follow it. Don't give it up based on random advice from the internet. But also, keep your options open so that you have something interesting to do if you find difficulties along the way. At this stage, however, it isn't a case of academia or industry.

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  • Thanks for your advice. I'm just afraid that if I focus on research work, I will get stuck with finding jobs (in case I don't get any scholarship) and if I focus on industrial experiences, I will hardly get a scholarship. I just don't know which path should I choose now (focus on research or industrial experience). About me, I want to focus on research, but it's just not sure that I can have a scholarship. – HOANG GIANG May 29 '19 at 12:44

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