Kaggle.com : Data Science as a sport

Kaggle.com with tie-ups from various organisations and lists array of Machine learning / Data science competitions. You could pick and choose the one which suits your area of expertise. You could learn working on some real world large data sets. Rewards could be cash prizes for some competitions and knowledge for some. Once you are in a competition, Kaggle scores are shown in a in real time leader board.

No one would mind this on your resume !!