Does Research in Master Degree Count as Work Experience?

I am currently working under my professor on a project. We are developing the X companies product. Will this count as my work experience. More specifically If I work under my professor as RA for lets say 2 years after I complete my masters can I say I have two years of experience ? I am planing to go back to India after completing my Masters. Companies like Infosys, Wipro will they count this as my Work Experience and give me a position accordingly.

If not India what will American companies think of my RA will they count it as work experience.

I am a 2011 BTech pass out and I will be completing my Masters in 2013.

I am really thankful to this blog for showing the exact picture of America even before coming here. It helped in a huge way.

Research Experience as Work Experience

Simple Answer – No.

Research experience that you get as part of a degree doesn’t count as work experience.

Will Internship experience count as work experience?

Thast’s question is debatable. But, during job interview, your internship experience from a company will have higher value.

I am planing to go back to India after completing my Masters. Companies like Infosys, Wipro will they count this as my Work Experience and give me a position accordingly.

That really depends on the company. But, they will give higher value for your Masters degree. But, I doubt your research experience will be counted as work experience even in India.

You will be still applying for Entry level jobs, but you will get higher preference compared to another entry-level candidate with B.E.


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  1. Research primarily is unstructured, while being on job is more structured. You have to follow processes etc and also get paid regularly. However research (academic) is more soft on process and is more inclined to get something new (Strictly following process somehow doesn’t get it).
    So the research experience being shown as work experience is a tricky situation. This more or less depends on how you present it to your interviewer.
    However the best thing I would advice is instead of showing Btech+2 years work experience, Btech+MS should fetch you a better job and remuneration.
    Btech+2 years will give you a job, but to IMO Btech+MS should give you a higher level job and pay. It’s only for those who don’t understand your qualification you need to translate it into work experience, but it’s always better not to do that since you’ll end up in a job which doesn’t require your qualification.

    1. Because I am here to study. I don’t want to settle down in US. I feel if I do job here, it will be difficult for me to leave US.

  2. Hi, sorry if I am wrong, but according to my experience the dissertation project also count in research experience in India.

    1. Yes, dissertation counts as research. But, research experience doesn’t count as work experience.

      Lets say you work 2 years on research and get MS. In your resume you can only add MS under educational qualification. Under projetc, you can list research experience.

      But, you cannot add the same research experience as work experience.

        1. Case 1: You work as RA/TA. Then get Masters. When you apply for job, you are considered as Fresher.
          Case 2 : After MS, you work for a company for 2 years. Apply for new job. You are not Fresher/Entry Level. That 2 years count as Job Experience.

          Get the difference?

          1. Hi all,
            I have found some people (either MS and mostly PhD) writing professional experience of 2 or 5 years gained as RA or TA in their resumes. Does this kind of experience count as professional employment? At the same time they mention their student and research status in Academics section of the CV. Does this sound redundant? Do you suggest us to do as they do? Their only logic is that they earn money being a RA or TA.

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