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A lot of machine learning positions require a PhD, especially if you're going for big companies like Google. The most important thing though, as usual in the tech field, is demonstrating your expertize. You can do so in a number of ways:

  1. Work on your own projects and contribute to open source code.
  2. Get an internship if you can.
  3. Pick some data sets and do some interesting analysis on them.
  4. Join machine learning competitions like the ones from Kaggle.
  5. If you don't have a PhD but want to demonstrate PhD-level expertize, there's always the possibility of getting your papers published in peer-reviewed journals.

Also, it's also a good idea to attend machine learning workshops and events to network with professionals in the field.

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