I was planning on applying to US colleges for masters and recently I got shortlisted for this job at an Indian startup (I don't think they have anything major out in the market). They are working on some Machine Learning (ML) product and I wish to pursue a masters in ML. Will this job experience help me with the admission process or should I just directly apply? My plan in life is to do a PhD and then join the industry.
Speaking from a computer science point of view, having relevant job experience will almost definitely be considered a plus for admissions. I've seen and heard of many cases who had a mediocre academic profile but managed to get into good schools because of their job experience.
However, not all job experiences are given the same consideration. The degree of relevance of your job to your field and also to the field you're interested in applying to matters. Furthermore, some jobs are purely technical (like programming), while others include research components (like working in an R&D Lab). It goes without saying that the latter will have a better chance at impressing admission committees and faculty.