All About Writing A Perfect Statement of Purpose

What is a Statement of Purpose?

In very simple words, you can say that a statement of purpose is a very well organized written presentation of the facts; your motivation & plans to study a particular course at a particular institution in a particular abroad destination and career aspirations on completing your chosen course. 

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Importance of Statement of Purpose

Usually, an abroad institution along with other documents requires a statement of purpose to determine your suitability for a particular study program. Even after having a weak academic background, you can still be able to justify your candidature for a particular course by drafting an appealing statement of purpose. Not only the admission application, but statement of purpose is a much essential document, required to submit visa application for some countries; Australia, Canada or Germany etc. So, it can be assumed that a statement of purpose plays a vital part in both; admission at a reputed abroad university/institution as well as applying for a student visa. So, you must put the utmost attention while creating a one for your admission/visa application. 

Ideal Length for a Statement of Purpose

It is a very common query among most of the candidates who are making efforts to write a statement of purpose for their admission or visa application that how long should a statement of purpose be? Now let’s try to find an answer to this query. The best way to find the required word count for a statement of purpose, you can refer to the SOP guidelines available at the concerned institution/university’s website. If however, you won’t find answer to your query, you just try to put as much as 600-1000 words in your statement of purpose. But in some cases, if you want to supply some additional facts in support of your candidature to a particular course, you can maximum go to a word limit of 1200. But it is strongly advised to keep the word limit as specified by the particular institution/university.

Statement of Purpose Format 

While drafting a statement of purpose, you are required to put as much relevant information as you can provide, just enough to convince either the admission committee about your suitability for a particular course or a visa officer to issue you a student visa. Remember to be precise while writing a statement of purpose. You can refer to this general statement of purpose format/template for a perfect flow of ideas in your SOP:

  1. In the very first paragraph of your SOP, provide your personal, academic as well as employment-related details. Also, try to include some catchy lines in the introduction which could reveal your sole interest for studying in a particular field.  
  2. In its preceding paragraph you are required to put the convincing reasons for why you have decided to study further? Also, try to establish the relevance of your academic or employment background with the chosen course. Even if you have decided to pursue your further studies in the field other than your academic or employment background, you are required to give a sound explanation for it
  3. In the third paragraph, you are required to put some realistic facts about choosing a particular study abroad destination for your further education. Here you are required to provide information/facts for how studying at a particular destination is more appealing to you instead of your own native country or any other abroad nation  
  4. In the fourth paragraph, give a sound explanation for choosing a particular institution/university in your chosen destination. You can make a sound comparison of the facts among the chosen university with other institutions on the basis of their rankings, tuition fee costs or preference to live in a particular city etc.
  5. In next paragraph include information regarding your chosen course. Put emphasis on the fact that how this particular course is going to help you achieving your career goals? You can explain here about the skills & knowledge that would be supplied to you through this course and make you efficient enough for working in a particular domain. You can also include recognition/accreditation of your chosen course, if any and try to explain how this accreditation would be helpful to you regarding your future career plans. For example, if you are studying an MBA at Stanford, which is very well accredited by the AACSB. Because of its accreditation from a world-class organization, it has a global acceptance and would enable you to seek employment all across the world.      
  6. Now it comes to the last but most important paragraph; future career plans. Here you are required to explain your short term goals & long terms goals. In short term goals, you can mention that you are completely focused to finish your studies at a particular institution. In long term plans, you have to give a brief description of your employment prospects on completion of your chosen course. Remember to explain your future career plans in relevance to your own native country's job market. You may include some of the reputed organizations where you will make your ways to get absorbed on returning back to your home country along with some working designations you are looking for on completion of your studies. Also, you can mention a realistic amount of salary offered for those working designations in your home country with the respective credential from abroad. 

(Note: if your selected institution has provided a specific format for writing a statement of purpose, then you must follow that particular format)

Statement of Purpose Sample 

Looking at the sharply rising trends in demand of data science skills all across the globe among diverse industrial sectors, it can easily be understood that acquiring competitive knowledge & skills in the area of data science can actually enable an individual to open gateways to much better career opportunities in the coming future. Analyzing this fact, I noticed that further pursuing a master’s degree in data science can be a precious gem to me that could make me worth more than what I am by the time. Starting from my school education I did well in academics and continue to perform well above average till my bachelor level (bachelor of technology-computer science & engineering), scored xxxxx (percentage of marks). During my bachelor studies, I pioneered myself in areas of programming, networking, software development, discrete mathematics, database management systems, data structures & algorithms and Internet of things etc.  

As a part of my bachelor’s degree I worked on a project of development of an android application for access to free online courses/resources to learn programming. During this project, we make use of JavaScript, SDK, APIs, SQL and Android Studio to create the app. On completion of my bachelor’s I joined xxxxx (organization name) based at xxxxx (place) as a “PHP developer”. To the date, I am working at the same organization as a “senior PHP developer” My working tenure at this organization has made me to master myself in areas of object-oriented programming/coding, integration of data sources and creation of PHP modules etc. It was my working exposure to the database integration that firstly instilled a seed of curiosity to grasp in-depth knowledge in the field of data science. 

(You may also like to check Statement of Purpose for MBA

Because of having a sound academic as well as an employment background in areas of computing technologies I would certainly get benefited while pursuing my further studies in the domain of data science. For my further studies, I preferred to study in the UK. UK is counted among the leading destination known to provide the best quality career-focused education. Just after USA, the most reputed institutions offering master's degrees in the field of data science are housed in the UK. Not only is this, in comparison to the institutions in the USA, studying a masters degree in data science in UK is more appealing in terms of lower study costs and lower course durations (most of the institutions in UK are offering master's in data science course with just 1-year duration instead of 2-years standard duration). Apart from this, credentials from UK’s institutions are very well recognized among employers around the globe. So, keeping these facts in my mind I finally decided to study in UK. During my research for a suitable study option in UK I found that studying MSc data science degree at The University of Manchester is quite favorable to me. Firstly it is among the most reputed institutions in the UK; ranked number 55th worldwide and 8th in UK (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020) and a member of Univertas21 (an international network of leading research universities) and Russell Group (association of leading 24 research universities in UK). Also, it has been awarded silver ratings for its teaching excellence by TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework). Not only is this, but I found that costs of studying the respective credential is considerably lower than other leading course providers offering similar credentials in the UK i.e. University College London, Imperial College London and The University of Edinburgh etc. Noticing these facts I finally decided to study at The University of Manchester in the UK. During my research about the respective course option at the University of Manchester, I found it the best study option to me for acquiring a detailed understanding and working knowledge in a number of crucial areas related to the field of data science i.e. methods and systems for extraction and structuring of data, machine learning, data structures & algorithms and database systems etc. Apart from the skills provided through the respective course, being a master’s credential it will provide me great help in getting a promotion to managerial working designations. So, the respective course option from The University of Manchester will equip me with all sorts of resources to seek the best career options in the field of data science in the coming future. 

After completing my studies I will return to my home country. It is estimated that in the coming decades, data science sector in India would reach a value of around USD $3.03 billion in size by 2025, clearly indicating the availability of a rapidly growing job market in the field of data science. So, on returning back to my home country with respective degree from The University of Manchester I can expect one of the best career opportunities in the field of data science.   

I hope, all this information can help you acquire a complete understanding of the process of creating a unique Statement of Purpose for your own admission/visa application. 

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