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"Wrong Email/Password"; Masters in Information Security - Statement of Purpose

walido88 1 / 1  
Sep 16, 2013   #1
This is the draft of my statement of purpose, please point out any errors or weaknesses. I will be grateful for any assistance offered.

Statement Of Purpose

"Jonathan James" is the name of a 15 year old kid who, in 1999, hacked U.S Department of Defense and NASA computer servers in one of the biggest military computer hacks of all time. When I first read the news, I was really intrigued, and found that I had a keen interest in the field and would enjoy making a career out of solving information security issues. My goal is to eradicate hacking of vital data, eliminate risks, and help strengthen the security measures taken against such attacks.

I followed my interest in the field, by pursuing a bachelor degree in computer science at Hariri Canadian University, where I was able to utilize my lateral thinking and problem solving skills to further enrich my knowledge in the field. Specific courses attracted me more than others, especially Business Information Systems, Operating Systems, Networking, and Advanced Networking, which shed light on the security measures taken in different operating systems, the different protocols used, and the basics of Active Directory. Furthermore, I was part of the team that participated in the ICPC Arab Regional Algorithmic Programming Competition.

I was part of the technical support team that took exclusive license rights of the product "WooXo Security Box" in Lebanon. I started my internship as a "Customer and System Support Engineer" at "Integrated Digital Systems (IDS)", where I was introduced to SQL and database security. After graduation, I joined IDS as a full time "Customer and System Support Engineer". I was then offered a better opportunity of career advancement when I joined Splendor Telecom as a "Customer Support Agent", where I then became the "Application/Website Tester" for all their products.

I was determined to increase my knowledge in the field, to boost my chances of launching a career in information security. Therefore, I attended Formatech Integrated Learning Centers, where I enrolled in the "Microsoft Information Technology Professional (MCITP)" "Windows Server Administrator 2008" track. The track covered all aspects of windows server security, from installation to policies. I also attended the course Comptia Net+ that covers the various networking hardware, software, topologies, protocols, and threats. I successfully completed the track and was awarded certificates of attendance in all the courses included. I employed the knowledge and skills that I acquired to complete the "Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)" certificate. My newly acquired knowledge was paramount in the job offer I received from "Apliman Technologies" as an "Installation and Support Engineer", where I am currently employed.

I have taken several steps towards fulfilling my career goal, but I need to complete the masters program at XXXXXX University in order to help me get there. Upon completing this degree I will have the tools and skills necessary to achieve my objectives. Besides, the Masters of Information System Security (M.Eng), focuses on numerous interesting and thought-provoking topics. Especially, Crypto-Protocol and Network Security, Operating System Security, and Cybercrime Investigations, that will be vital for pursuing a future career in the field. In addition, XXXXXX University is one of the leading universities in the world, and is home to a large population of multi-national international students, that will ease the process of fitting in the new environment.

Once my application is successful, and the degree obtained, I will have set the stepping stone for a career as a specialist in information system security. Consequently, I aim to achieve a PhD in the field, which will help me become an active member in the information security industry.
Th25cc 2 / 90 26  
Sep 16, 2013   #2
This statement of purpose should be telling me what your purpose is behind wanting to study information system security at your university. Right now, your essay shares a far-fetched story and a bunch of qualifications and credentials that you have. I could care less if you are fascinated by information security or enthralled by certain college courses. Leave out the fluffy adjectives. Your purpose is no different than anyone else's purpose - all of the applicants are probably sharing some cool story that supposedly prompted them to want to pursue the same career as you and all of them have probably taken classes, done internships, and worked in your field.

You can differentiate yourself by offering up a goal you have and then explaining how you need to complete this master's program in order to get there. You can still share your story, but the reasoning behind that should be closer to "I'd like to learn at your university to help accomplish my goal of eradicating hacking within personal email" instead of "getting my email hacked made me want to pursue a career in information security". I find it hard to believe that from one moment you knew what you wanted to do as a career. Your logic would indicate that every time a problem happens to you, you want to make a career out of addressing that problem.

Here's the structure I'd like to see.

1. Share career goal and a situation which would be rectified if you achieved your career goal.
2. Previous experiences.
3. Why you need this university to achieve that career goal.
4. If you are accepted and obtain this degree, what will your plan of action be afterwards?

Colleges love it when they are an integral part of a student's success. Every applicant is qualified and is interest and enthralled by the subject. What differentiates them is there plan.

You may say something like this:

"My goal is to eradicate hacking within personal email platforms. Ever since my personal email was hacked, I found that I had an interest in the field and would enjoy making a career out of solving information security issues. So far I have done x, y, and z to help me reach my goals, but I need to complete the program at your university in order to help me get there. Upon completing this degree, I will have the tools and skills necessary to achieve my goals."

You might get accepted with your current essay but it is so prototypical. You can do better by being unique and showing your definitive plan.
OP walido88 1 / 1  
Sep 19, 2013   #3
Sorry for the late reply.
I cannot thank you enough for your comments, they're highly appreciated. I will start the 2nd second draft taking all your points into consideration.
Th25cc 2 / 90 26  
Sep 20, 2013   #4
Those things are great but I think you need to still share the overall career path/goal and show the college that they're part of that goal.

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