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In the present-day scenario where everything is technology-driven, computer science has become a stream with endless opportunities. With the global market for computing increasing every year, a career in computer science awaits a worthwhile future. But applying to colleges and universities for a master's degree in computer science in the USA can be quite a complicated task. For writing a perfect statement of purpose, there are a number of things that you must note, as any single point could either make or break your college application. Keeping that in mind, we have carefully crafted a guide on how to write a SOP for computer science, which includes a toolkit, two sample SOPs, and an in-depth explanation of the topic that needs to be covered in all four paragraphs of your SOP.
Toolkit for SOP for computer science
Here, we have curated a toolkit that is sectioned into 4 paragraphs for a university SOP, along with examples that will help you write an SOP for computer science.
|Questions to be answered
|Introduction (motivation and goals)
|What interested you in computer science?
|Intrigued by the idea of using the internet to control and measure things
ORUsed to play computer games as a kid which made me curious to learn more about the computer’s functioning, and read a book titled “Making Your Own Computer Game with Python” which further grew my interest.
|What are your technical/soft skills?
|In-depth knowledge of concepts like Data structures and algorithms, microcontrollers, and embedded systems
|Where do you intend to reach with your degree in computer science?
|I aim to become an entrepreneur and work on embedded systems with a vision of bringing change to the computer field
ORTo become a software engineer
|Body paragraph I (learning, execution, and impact)
|What is your academic history?
|Completed a Bachelor of Technology (Electronics and Communication) program from the National Institue of Technology
ORCompleted a Bachelor of Computer Applications program from North-Eastern Hill University
|What is your professional history?
|Worked in Target Corporation as a Data Engineer
ORWorked as a Django Intern at Digite Infotech Private Limited
|What have you accomplished during these years?
|Built strong analytical and statistical ability
ORLearned python programming language and Became proficient in Django
|Body paragraph II (why course, why university)
|Why did you decide to study computer science?
|To expand my expertise in the domain for finding better job opportunities at higher positions
ORRealized the need for higher education in order to become a software engineer and work on developing safe and secure websites
|Why did you decide to study this particular course?
|To gain knowledge in tools like IDA Pro and GNU ID that are used to design and develop embedded systems
ORThe opportunity to work closely with Dr. Li-Chiou Chen for his research work done in application security
|Why did you decide to study at this particular university?
|World-class faculty and renowned Microsystems Design Lab, also drawn to conduct research under the supervision of Prof. Dr. John Sampsons who is famous for his research in embedded systems
ORWorld-class faculty and exceptional academic resources such as Computational Intelligence Lab provides students with a high-technology facility to improve their programming skills and collaborate with like-minded people
|Why do you think that you can be valuable for the university apart from your academics?
|By contributing to the university’s research in the field of embedded systems, aiming at providing high throughput data on a software level through normal computation methods
ORBy contributing to the university’s research in the field of computer science, especially in security management and application development
|Conclusion (closing statement)
|What are your immediate goals?
|To get placed in a good position in a technological giant like Apple, IBM, and Intel
ORTo get placed as a software engineer at a reputable IT firm
|What are your goals in the long term?
|To become an entrepreneur and work on embedded systems
ORTo become an entrepreneur and start a software development company working on secure systems
|How do you wish to contribute to society with your career in computer science?
|I aim to push technological innovation by developing more effective and efficient computing systems
ORBy building a team that helps to save time and effort by predicting and working on issues before they are filed
SOP for computer science different background
“Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program. “ - Linus Torvalds
It was during my schooling years, that I was first introduced to the concept of IoT at a science fair organized by the Indian Space Research Organization. The idea of using the internet to control and measure things intrigued me, but it was during my undergraduate course in Btech that I was amazed by the ability of a small silicon wafer to store infinite amounts of data, and captivated by the ever-increasing speed of microprocessors. Whilst reading “Making Embedded Systems: Design Patterns for Great Software” by Elecia White during my final year, piqued my interest in it as well. I believe that my idea of engineering aligns with Linus Torvalds, to bring a fundamental change, rebuilding the entire code from scratch while enjoying it is the characteristic of a true engineer. Finally, in the long term, I aim to become an entrepreneur and work on embedded systems with a vision of bringing change to the computer field.Due to my bachelor of Technology, I have gained in-depth insights into concepts like Data structures and algorithms, microcontrollers, and embedded systems, which I believe will assist me on my journey.
The journey to fulfill my aspiration began with my Bachelor of Technology (Electronics and Communication) program at the National Institute of Technology, Puducherry. Throughout the course, I developed a strong foundation in various engineering concepts such as computer architecture, microcontrollers, and microprocessors. In my final year of college, I worked on a noteworthy project which was based on the technology related to touch screens. The project helped me learn the implementation of algorithms for object and color detection, location triangulation, and the convex hull method.After graduating with an 8.3 GPA, I joined Target Corporation as a Data Engineer, where I got the opportunity to analyze and model projects using Apache Spark. I worked on projects from various domains such as banking, healthcare, sales and e-commerce. This, in turn, built a strong statistical and analytical ability in me that helped me explore new ideas and provide innovative solutions for them. Working on real-time data has made me understand the limitless possibilities that algorithms offer to achieve unimaginable scales in processing.My greatest learning has been identifying problems, working as a team to develop solutions, and testing and deploying optimizations at a large scale.
While gaining industry exposure and growing professionally, I realized that there is much to learn in this exciting domain, and the profession I’m currently following is very limited. To expand my expertise, I have decided to pursue a postgraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering.Additionally, embedded systems have been an area that has piqued my interest ever since college. I believe that further study will enable me to drive innovation and technological advancements in this area.I believe a Master in Computer Science and Engineering from the Penn State College of Engineering will be the best option. One of the cornerstones of the university is the renowned Microsystems Design Lab, where I aim to explore Embedded systems and computing theories. I am particularly drawn to my course because I can conduct research under the supervision of professor Dr. John Sampsons, famous for his research paper on ” Data-driven adaptation for QoS aware embedded vision systems”.The research builds on optimization by reusing the previous results to reduce the processing of redundancy, and I am excited to work on similar research aiming into normal computation methods, implemented on a software level to provide high throughput data.
My immediate goal is to gain advanced knowledge and expertise in tools like IDA Pro and GNU ID that are used to design and develop embedded systems, and subsequently hone my skills in technological giants like Apple, IBM, and Intel.In the long term, I envision starting a business where I wish to work on embedded systems with the aim of bringing fundamental changes in this field. I bring with me first-hand research and industry experience, along with a zeal for learning that I believe will bring a fresh perspective to the university. I aspire to push the boundaries of technological innovation and carry a keen desire to make a substantial contribution to the computing world. I believe Penn State College will help in achieving this goal and not just remain a figure on the college sheets.
SOP for computer science similar background
“Everybody should learn to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” - Steve Jobs
However, while working there, I noticed the vulnerabilities that applications might face if not equipped with robust security measures. During one project, our team noticed a threat that could compromise the security of the financial transactions made by clients. Even though the team was able to find a solution, I was introduced to the ever-evolving nature of cyber threats, ranging from sophisticated attacks on sensitive data to potential breaches that could comprise the functionality of an entire system. It was then I felt the need to get a postgraduate degree in computer science to accomplish my dream of becoming a software engineer and developing secure web applications.I plan to further develop my understanding of secure web application development, and security in computer networking and enhance my skills to find better job opportunities at higher positions.For the same reason, I have applied to the Master of Science in Computer Science program at Pace University. Given Pace University’s world-class faculty and exceptional academic resources in computer science, I see no better place to pursue a master's degree. I am particularly impressed by the university’s Computational Intelligence Lab, which provides students with a high-technology facility to improve their programming skills and collaborate with like-minded people. I would especially love to work closely with Dr. Li-Chiou Chen with his brilliant research focused on application security, security risk perception and management, and security policy enforcement.I am eager to contribute to the university’s research in security management and application development.
Pursuing an advanced course in computer science will act as a crucial step in my professional trajectory to achieve my career goals. I believe that my master's program at Pace University will grow my career graph as a software engineer and help me get placed in a good position at a reputable IT firm. My work experience as a software engineer would help me move a step closer to accomplishing my long-term goal of becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own software development company. I hope that my career as a software engineer team lead can contribute to a better work environment by building a team that helps to save time and effort by predicting and working on issues before they are filed.With my career in web development, I believe that I can not only fulfill my career aspirations but also add value to society by setting a standard practice for creating safe and secure websites.I believe that a Master of Science degree from Pace University, combined with my work experience, can help me achieve my academic and career aspirations.
How to write an SOP for MS in computer science
Here is a comprehensive explanation on how to write SOP for computer science given below compartmentalized into 4 different paragraphs.
Introduction (motivation and goal)
The introduction to your SOP sets the tone for the SOP reader and helps you stand out. A hook is likely able to help you do the same with an attention-grabbing fact, phrase, or a real-life problem in the field of computer science. Many students tend to not mention their source of inspiration but you must not forget it as it makes your SOP more appealing. Moving on, talk about your skillset and your aim that you wish to accomplish through your career.
Checklist for writing introduction:
- Hook (quote related to computer science)
- Source of motivation
- Long-term goal
- Reason to pursue the course
- Unique aspects about your personality
- Future goals
Body paragraph I (learning, execution, and impact)
In a statement of purpose, the first body paragraph is mainly focused on academic and professional background. Give a brief introduction to your background and avoid stretching it too long. As the main purpose of your SOP is to outshine yourself, likewise mention all that you’ve achieved over the years in this paragraph. Do not limit yourself and talk about your academic, work and even extracurricular achievements and learnings to show the admissions committee that you’re a learned candidate.
Checklist for writing body paragraph I:
- Academic accomplishments
- Professional accomplishments
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Impact of all the cumulative experiences
- In case of a fresher, talk about internships and volunteerships
Body paragraph II (why course, why university)
While this seems quite simple, you must do in-depth research about the college or university that you’re applying to. This advice especially extends to the students who apply to a number of colleges but only emphasize their application for 2-3 colleges not doing their enough research about the other colleges and universities while applying to them. It is recommended to mention your reason for choosing the course and university in the second body paragraph. The key to stand out here is to mention straightforward facts and information that address your concerns that you wish to have in an ideal college or university. Write in a persuasive manner that shows your zeal to study in their institution with special mention to how you can be a valuable asset to them.
Checklist for writing body paragraph II:
- The skills and knowledge you know related to computer science
- Why this particular college/university?
- What do you like about the university?
- How can you be a valuable addition to the college/university?
Conclusion (closing statement)
Since the concluding paragraph mostly reiterates what has been already said in the SOP, you do not need to repeat the same things again and again. Instead, you could mention the above written information in a way that aligns with your career aspirations. As an applicant, you must enclose your SOP by showing your ambitious side highlighting your short-term and long-term goals upon completion of your studies. If you truly want your SOP to stand out, do not forget to write how you wish to contribute to the betterment of society beyond your career goals.
Checklist for writing conclusion:
- Path to achieve your career goals (short-term and long-term goals)
- What after the course (long-term goals)
- Contribution towards the society
We all know that writing a statement of purpose for computer science is no easy task, especially if you’re applying for US universities. However, our exclusive guide on writing a unique statement of purpose will help you stay on track and finish your college application on time. Make sure that you follow all the given instructions and take it one step at a time to bring it all together to an SOP that speaks volumes about your work and sets you apart from other candidates.
Why should you choose computer science?
In the past few decades, computer science has become a prominent field for many students, with a range of jobs to choose from. In today’s world, where computers are used in almost every industry, computer science is the best career choice with a great pay scale. Statistics validate this point, as the recorded average salary for people working in computer science-related fields is $136,620 per year on average.
What is SOP written for?
A statement of purpose is written to encapsulate all the important information of a candidate in a document submitted with the college/university application. It provides you with an opportunity to talk about yourself in a clear manner directly to the admissions committee. It is your chance to show the admissions committee that you’re extraordinarily different and deserve to be a part of their college/university. Mentioning details of your background and experiences help you demonstrate your growth reflecting your personality.
How long should SOP be?
A general rule of thumb is to follow the instructions given by the university while writing your statement of purpose. However, if there aren’t any specific instructions or guidelines stated on the college/university website, you can stick to the general word limit of 600-900.
What should be the tone of an SOP?
An SOP should be written in a formal yet conversational tone, avoiding the use of any informal or colloquial language. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should not use flattery or flowery language that only targets praising the university; instead, state concrete facts that represent why you actually wish to be a part of the university.