It is not. It is helpful for sure as most studies, as academic experience is. However far more important in my experience are the projects you have been part, the code you have written, a good repo is always welcome. Some hiring managers and hr people will have valid reasons to hire only Ph.D' or masters, however as a whole the industry is looking for people that know how to do stuff, understand how it works and go and do it.
Than being said, it is highly advisable that:
- You have good foundations on coding, be proficient (good) in at least one proficient in one programming language, feel at ease using it. You don't get to say I would Google it when you are writing a for loop, we all use Google as our API to Stackoverflow, but the simpler your queries the more evident you don't know your stuff.
- Understand how machine learning works, you don't get to say you know machine learning because you have plugged a dataset to the sklearn API. You need to understand the data, the algorithm, the metrics, the validations, runtimes, big O and memory concerns, all them are important.
So no, it is not necessary as long as you know what you are doing and can prove (show) it.