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Statement of Purpose - Professional Master's Program in Computer Science Big Data Specialization

MichelleA 1 / 1  
Dec 28, 2018   #1
I would appreciate feedback on my statement of pupose below. Thanks!
Here's the prompt from the school's website:
Your statement of purpose is your chance to explain why you would be an excellent candidate for the big data specialization by highlighting your strengths, aspirations, and anything else that might set you apart from other applicants. Please indicate clearly how you have gained the knowledge equivalent to XYZ's CMPT 300, 307, and 354 courses (i.e. point to equivalent courses on your transcript or to corresponding work/project experience on your CV). For descriptions of these courses, please refer to the Admission Requirements page. The statement of purpose should be no longer than two pages double-spaced.


Big data has quite a number of potential use cases especially in the world of business - from providing insight on how to improve customer experience and operational efficiency to how to drive innovation to keep up to speed with the competition. The first time I was introduced to the term big data was during a college lecture in my second year on big data and its various applications used in different sectors of the economy. It was quite a brief encounter but it caught my attention. Subsequently, learning of how technology giants like Facebook and Netflix harness the power of big data to achieve mega growth in their respective niches inspired me and made me realize the need to leverage big data in order to succeed in a very competitive, tasking business environment. My career goal is to work as a data analyst in a company such as Deloitte where I hope to assist clients in making sound business decisions by leveraging the power of big data and technology. This is why I have chosen to apply to the Big Data Specialization program of the Professional Master's in Computer Science at XYZ University.

Studying Information Technology for my first degree was a logical choice because I liked mathematics and I was fascinated by the computer applications on our desktop so I wanted to learn how to make them. During the course of my undergraduate studies, I took courses such as Further Calculus, linear algebra, statistical theory and statistical methods. I also took Introduction to Operating Systems, Data Structures and Algorithms and Database Management Systems courses in my second, third and fourth year respectively - which I performed excellently and are equivalent to XYZ's CMPT 300, 307, and 354 courses. I was at the top of my class for the five years of the program with a grade point average of 4.38/5.00 and above for each semester and was awarded the best in information technology department for my set by the ABC University Chapter of the National Association of Computer Science Students.

My senior year project focused on developing a browser-based system for disseminating and tracking documents within a university department. I used the PHP programming language with MySQL for the back-end and HTML and CSS for the front-end. I created a database which kept a record of each document name either uploaded or created within the system, the comments from the member of staff and the dates each comment was made. A prototype of the system was implemented on a local area network. The aim of the project is to reduce the amount of physical energy exerted and time spent dropping off memos and other documents that require multiple approvals from various department staff.

My internship at a HiiT Plc availed me the opportunity to learn web programming using HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and MySQL. One of the projects I participated in was collaborating with a team of fellow interns to create a prototype of the web application with displaying profiles of all the interns in the firm with the details being stored in an SQL database. I learned a great deal from all these - such as gaining proficiency in the PHP, SQL and JavaScript programming languages some of which I used in my senior project as well as version control using Git - and learning how to collaborate efficiently with a team. More recently, I took some courses on using python for data science in the data science education site called DataCamp since I was already familiar with the Python programming language.

With what I believe to be a sufficient educational background, I am interested in pursuing skills in big data analytics. XYZ University runs one of the best computer science programs in Canada and its extensive and practical curriculum in the big data specialization program will set me on the right path to achieving my aforementioned career goal. Courses such Machine Learning, Data Mining, Database Systems as well as Database and Knowledge-based Systems will avail me the opportunity to learn how to extract useful patterns and knowledge in data - skills which I can apply in my career to help companies in decision support.

I bring with me not just my scholastic abilities as indicated in the previous paragraphs and as shown in my transcripts but also a passion to learn, healthy team player spirit, leadership skills as I was the student representative for my class and complete dedication to the program.

I look forward to joining the big data specialization program in the fall of 2019. I hope the committee shares my confidence and enthusiasm and favorably considers me for admission into your prestigious professional master's program as this would be a stepping stone to achieving my career goals.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,423 4689  
Dec 29, 2018   #2
This is a SOP that can be considered quite strong in terms of your qualifications. So your essay is definitely strong in those aspects of the presentation. However, I believe that you need to strengthen the reasons as to why you chose to attend XYZ university. Most of your explanation in that aspect pertains to publicly known information. So there is nothing about your academic goals in relation to your professional end game that makes your university choice stand out. The reasons that you chose this university to study at, when there may be universities in Nigeria that offer the same courses, needs to highlight your academic considerations far beyond the simple presentation that you have in this presentation. Explain how you plan to use the opportunity to study at this university to help you advance your skills and training. You have to come full circle to how your professional goals can be best achieved by the training you will receive at the university, but in a more specific manner. One similar to the comparison of courses that the essay asked you to do to prove your educational foundation in this field. This time, show how your professional foundation will be helped by the courses and training programs the university offers. That should help to strengthen that part of your SOP.

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