Statement of Purpose

“MASTER OF DATA SCIENCE”

Source: KIEC Student(DAH21RAV)

Statement of Purpose

I feel the 90s kids were a fortunate bunch, born at a critical juncture in history. We could see two distinct worlds growing up; one before the 2000s and the other after it. The former was one where technology was still in its formative years and the latter booming with it, so much so that the technological developments of the last 20 years have surpassed the technological developments of the past 200 years. And with hardware developments taking a back seat, the focus is all on the software as we can see with the recent developments in AI and IoT. In this digital age, everyone is constantly engaged with technical gadgets in one way or the other. This generates DATA and when this unstructured data is processed and analyzed, we can make valuable informed strategic decisions. In the future, I see myself leading the business analysis sector in Nepal which is why I want to grow my career in Data Science by enrolling in the graduate program at La Trobe University. With my diverse professional experiences and my academic background in engineering with a minor in Mathematics, I see myself well qualified to pursue the graduate course in data science.

INTRODUCTION & EDUCATION BACKGROUND:

I was born on Birth Date to ( Parent’s Name ). My Passport No. is XXXXXXXX. My residential address is ( Address), Pin: XXXX

Regarding my educational history, I completed my schooling from ( School Name ) in 2XXX with XX percentage. As I was very much interested in science, during my high school I took Science as my major at ( College Name ). I completed high school in 2005 with a cumulative percentage of XX. With the intention of getting an international degree in engineering, I decided to apply to United States (US) for my undergraduate. I went to Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. I was still having a culture shock during my first semester at Lewis-Clark State College when the semester ended. And when my friends decided to transfer to Quincy College in Quincy, Massachusetts I also accompanied them as I did not want to get out of my comfort zone. So, after studying for a semester, I transferred to Quincy Community College in Quincy, Massachusetts. After studying at Quincy for 2 and a half years taking general elective classes I finally transferred to Minnesota State University, Mankato from where I completed my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) (with Minor in Mathematics) in 2XXX with a cumulative GPA of X.X.

It took me 7 years to complete my undergraduate. The journey that started in August of 2XXX ended in June of 2XXX. I felt the pain of prolonged undergraduate but I didn’t lose hope. Most of my credits from Lewis Clark State College and Quincy Community College didn’t get transferred to Minnesota State University, which is why I had to start afresh for undergraduate at Minnesota State University in Mankato. I believe in education. I feel getting a degree gives you a lot of options in your life to explore. Not only that but it gives you confidence and builds up self-esteem. It was because of my belief in education that I wanted to join the Teach for Nepal Fellowship to inspire rural village kids to pursue education (higher) in spite of all the challenges that they may have to incur. 

 

 After my undergraduate, I applied for various engineering positions at different companies. I knew that getting a job would take some time. It had also been a long time I had not come back to Nepal after I left Nepal to the US for my undergraduate. I was also looking for opportunities in Nepal so that I would come back and get engaged immediately. Which in hindsight was a wonderful opportunity for me to come back to Nepal and give back to the community by joining in a movement called “Teach for Nepal”. Hence, I returned back to Nepal in October 2014. I applied for the Teach for Nepal Fellowship and after 2 months of in-house training, I started the Fellowship in April of 2015, teaching mathematics from grade 6 to grade 10 in a public school, Shree Janak Secondary School, in Katuwa, Lalitpur. The Fellowship was for a duration of two years. I completed my Fellowship in April of 2XXX

After the Fellowship, I wanted to be close to my family. Hence, I moved back to Biratnagar, my hometown. In Biratnagar, I got an opportunity to work for ( Company Name ). The enterprise was a start-up established in 2015 just after the massive earthquake in Nepal providing housing solutions. They needed an Operations Manager to oversee the entire operations and also subsequently build a framework to ease in its day to day activities. I worked at XXXX as an Operations Manager from June of 2017 till September of 2018.

Currently, I am working at Huawei Technologies Nepal Pvt. Ltd. as a Site Engineer through Sanchaya Staffing. I joined Huawei Nepal in September of 2XXX

With my own diverse professional experience, I could see how important data could be for assumptions and evaluations. During my Teach For Nepal Fellowship, I conducted weekly quizzes for every class, the grades of which were recorded in excel. I reviewed the sheet every month to figure out which students to focus more on, how to arrange students for a group study and how could I make seat arrangements so that the learning of students would enhance. The attendance data of each student also showed the correlation between the presence of the student in the class and his/her grade. Apart from that, it also helped m to reflect on the teaching pedagogies to effectively communicate with the whole class. 

Working for Malla Enterprise as an Operations Manager the relevancy of data could be reflected from the information on the materials in the warehouse; the delivery of materials to the project sites; the amount of labor required for the project gave a clear picture to which sites to work on and for how long and cost-saving measures for the transportation of materials from the warehouse to different sites. 

Similarly, working for Huawei Nepal, we had to carefully plan our work on different sites based on how far each site were from the base office location; check on the progress of sub contractor’s work on different sites and update the progress to our managers so that the work could be completed within the desired deadline. We built a tracker system in excel, to update the progress of each site so that we could plan our work collaborating with the sub-contractor and finish the work within the given timeline. 

Working on different domains, I have realized how data can be used effectively to plan, track, predict, and assume. This has instilled a desire in me to learn more about the tools and methodologies for data analysis which is also the reason why I want to enroll in Data Science. 

 

2XXX(3rd March) was also the year that I got married. My spouse’s name is Name. She completed her schooling from ( School Name ) with a total percentage of XX % on 13th June, 2XXX and her high school as a Science major with the total percentage of XX 9th September 2014. After high school, she took a web-designing course and has been working as a web designer for PDMT (Purbanchal Digital Media Technologies) for the past 3 years. After marriage, when we shared our dreams and aspirations, we concluded that it is the right time for me to pursue my Masters (in Data Science). She is also applying with me as a dependent. Her passport number is XXXXXXXX. It was with her support and encouragement, I am applying for the graduate program in Australia. In a foreign land, when one feels lonely and sad, which can be the case sometimes, it can be pretty disheartening so I need my wife by my side to share my days with. She has not been abroad before so it will be a good opportunity for her to explore different cultures, communities, people, food, and way of life. 

 

During my study and stay in Australia with my spouse, my Parents will be taking care of all my funds: my University fees, travel cost and our living expenses. My family is financially sound as well as very supportive when it comes to education. So, my parents have agreed to cover all our expenses during our stay in Australia.

 

WHY NOT NEPAL FOR MY FURTHER STUDIES:

Before I decided to apply abroad for my graduate studies, I did some research to find out if there are universities or colleges here in Nepal that offers graduate program in Data Science. No university or colleges here in Nepal offer specific Data Science as a graduate program but most colleges have some data science courses under either Engineering or IT graduate program. For example, Islington College has MSc. IT and Applied Security for graduate studies containing ‘Programming for Data Analytics’, ‘Data Warehousing and Big Data’, ‘Data Analysis and Visualization’ modules in its course content. Similarly, Kathmandu University offers masters in ‘Computer Science and Engineering’ that has ‘Database Management System’, ‘Data Mining’, ‘Machine Learning’, ‘Computer simulation and modeling’ in its course catalog some of which are elective and not mandatory. These graduate program would be broad in nature concerning IT and Engineering.  

Hence, after thorough research and consultations with family members I have decided to apply for abroad masters program as there are no colleges or universities in Nepal with Data Science graduate program.

 

WHY NOT OTHER COUNTRIES:

Anyone who wants to get an international degree would look at the top destinations for international students.  According to study portals, the top 3 destinations for international students are US, UK, Australia.

I have my undergraduate degree in Engineering from US. The cost of graduate program in US is higher than that of Australia for universities of similar ranking. For eg, The tuition fees of La Trobe University (the one I am applying to) is A$ 35,400/year whereas, the tuition fees for the graduate program at University of Colorado Denver in US is $ 31,640/year (non-resident tuition) which is higher than La Trobe if we consider the exchange rate of Australian dollar vs American dollar. Both the universities are ranked in 397th spot in Global world ranking. The entry requirements for graduate program in US requires GRE or GMAT but there is no such requirement for graduate program in Australia. Compared to America, the crime rate in Australia is very low which can create a safe environment that fosters learning.

The primary reason why I don’t want to apply for a graduate program in UK is because of its 1 year course structure. Even though it saves 1 year time period and the cost associated with it but my long term plan is to return back to Nepal and Nepal Education Board only accepts 2 years of Masters Program. Also, the tuition and living expenses in UK is comparatively higher than Australia considering the current exchange rate of Nepal with UK and Australia. 

Apart from the cost of living expenses and tuition, many universities in Australia offer scholarships to international students which will ease financial commitment of the sponsors. 

 

WHY I CHOOSE TO STUDY IN AUSTRALIA 

Many international students choose to study in Australia because of its outstanding education system which is carefully regulated by the Australian government in order to maintain the high standards, friendly and laid-back nature and high standard of living. As more and more people look to give themselves the skills required in a competitive global environment, an Australian education has become one of the most sought after in the world. Here, I will get teaching of internationally renowned quality, matched with one of the world’s finest student support systems, and a superb living environment. I will meet people from all around the globe who have settled in Australia – from Europe and Asia, to Africa, the Middle East and the Americas. Australia is a country of innovation. Australian scientists have invented many world-changing technologies including: the black box flight recorder, the heart pacemaker, ultrasound, the influenza vaccine, the bionic ear, wireless internet, Google Maps and spray-on skin for burn victims. More about Australia in terms or education system are mentioned below: 

  • Australian Education system focus more on self-dependent studies as compare to other countries  by which I will be able to develop my critical thinking skills, communication skills, personality and decision making skills
  • Australian teachers try to understand the student weather they are learning or not if not then they try the other method of teaching and make it simpler
  • Education provider in Australia are more focused on the students experience of learning they provide peer support, balancing study, sport and extracurricular activity.
  • The most important factor is that, Australian education providers offer a variety of courses and degrees, so international students can easily find their desired fields.
  • The curriculum is updated in accordance with present context
  • There are rules and regulation which facilitate international students in Australia. Some of them are Education Service for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, national code of practice for providers of education and training to overseas students, Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas 
  • Student (CRICOS) and Tuition Protection Service (TPS). These rules and system make Australia stand out from rest of the world while considering the country and environment where in we study. The learning and study process happens in multi-cultural and global level, which will enable me to work in any part of the world including my home country on the completion of my studies

WHY LA TROBE UNIVERSITY:

When I decided to study in Australia for my Masters in Data Science there were a few universities I was looking into. Some of them were Western Sydney University, La Trobe University, University of Technology – Sydney, and Monash University. My research into these universities was based on tuition fees, ranking, and employability.  

Name of the institutionTuition fees (2019)Ranking* (2019)

Employability*

(2019)

La – Trobe UniversityA$ 35,400397251-300
Monash UniversityA$ 41,4005959
Western Sydney UniversityA$ 31,680498301-500
University  of Technology – SydneyA$ 37,65016064

* The ranking and employability ratings were obtained from www.topuniversities.com 

After careful consideration, I have chosen La Trobe University to apply for my graduate studies. Even if Western Sydney University are comparatively little bit cheaper than La Trobe University but the ranking and employ ability factor of La Trobe is higher than that of Western Sydney University. Monash University is a bit expensive for me personally. 

Apart from the cost of tuition, I am also excited by the course structure of Data Science in La Trobe. Apart from the core 90 credits, students can select specialization of their choice along with the option of thesis or industry placement/ industry-based learning from the curriculum. This industry experience would prove invaluable when we graduate from the course.

La Trobe’s reputation among the employers is demonstrated by having its graduates rated eighth nationally for overall satisfaction in the 2017 QILT Employer Satisfaction Survey with a rating of 86.6 percent higher than that of Monash University (84.4), University of Technology Sydney (81.8) and Western Sydney University (85.8).  La Trobe University also offers outstanding integration with industry, providing us with a superior learning environment, enhanced internship opportunities and greater exposure to the job market prior to graduation”.

La Trobe University College Excellence Scholarship

Moreover I have been nominated to receive a La Trobe College Excellence Scholarship for the College of Science, Health and Engineering which will cover 25% of my tuition fees for the duration of my studies for Master of Data Science commencing on Semester 2, 2019.

There are limited scholarships available and therefore scholarships are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. To accept and secure the scholarship I am required to:

  1. Meet all conditions (if applicable) outlined on my course Letter of Offer
  2. Accept my offer by paying the full acceptance deposit listed on my Letter of Offer, and return my Completed Offer Acceptance Form for International Students to La Trobe International, ensuring me as complete the Scholarship Details Section
  3. Commence course at La Trobe University in Semester 2, 2019.

 

To study Data Science as a graduate program in La Trobe University, one needs to have Australian Bachelor’s degree or international equivalent, and academic IELTS score of 6.5 overall with minimum of 6.0 in each band.

I meet this requirement as I have an engineering degree (electrical with minor in mathematics) with a CGPA of 3.07 (US grading system) and overall IELTS score of 7, minimum of 6 in each band.

To graduate as a Data Scientist from La Trobe University, we have to complete 240 credits out of which 90 credits are from Core Subjects and the remaining 150 credit is earned from one of the three specializations. One can specialize into Big Data and Cloud Computing, Bioinformatics, and Analytical Science.  Each specialization constitute of 105 credits (15 credits per course) of classes specifically designed and 45 credits can be chosen among Statistics Thesis, Computer Science Thesis, and Industry based Learning Pathway-1,2 or 3. 

 

WHY I HAVE CHOSEN MASTER OF DATA SCIENCE:

Data Science is a multi-faceted program. There is no niche market for Data Scientist. All most all the domain needs data scientist be it Energy, Real Estate, Automotive, Banking, Finance. Why? Because data drives decisions and thus they can be directly involved in the informed strategic decision making for cost saving or could be implemented in developing advance data driven analytics solutions in AI (Artificial Intelligence). Through my own diverse professional experience, as state above, I came to realize the importance of data in analysis and forecasting. 

Personally, my interest in Data Science developed when I observed how Google Chrome uses the search query (data) of the user to personalize the information content displayed in the search engine – a fine demonstration of data analysis. Same is the case with Youtube. I have an intense desire to learn about different tools and methodologies used by Data Scientist and coming from an engineering background (with minor in mathematics) I have the aptitude for the program. Plus when I study Data Science, I don’t have to limit myself in certain domain of industry. I can be at any organization providing logically viable solutions backed by data. 

Also, according to the Deloitte Access Economics (2017): “The data science workforce is expected to see stronger growth than the Australian labor force as a whole, where employment is forecast to grow at an average of 1.5% per annum over the next five years.” 

MY FUTURE PLAN:

In the long run, I would like to start my own consulting firm in Nepal rendering consulting services (market research and analysis, market trends and opportunity, and growth possibilities/strategies) to both private and public sectors. In order to do that, I need to build my expertise and credibility. I would like to work in the industry for at least 5-7 years before I start my own consulting firm. 

There are various titles under which a Data Science graduate can work viz. as a Analytics Manager/Engineer, Business Analyst, Data Analyst/Engineer, Business Intelligence Engineer/Architect, Big Data Engineer are to name a few. After graduation, I would like to work in Australian companies under 485 Skilled Graduate Temporary Visa to gain international work experience. After that, I would like to get back to Nepal and would like to work for companies like Frost and Sullivan Nepal, NCell, Verscend Technologies, Huawei Nepal, Unilever Nepal, Dabur Nepal, Chaudhary Group. Big companies of Nepal are starting to employ Data Scientist in their team or take the services of third party (consulting firms) to access the market trends and analysis to better understand the market and make decisions on the basis of it. Ncell has started its own Market Research and Analytics team.

COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS:

On the accomplishment of Master of Data Science degree from Australian University, I can get appointed in reputed organizations with starting monthly salary package of around NPR 80,000 to NPR 100,000 in my home country. As I work hard and gain experience in related field, I can raise my salary to more than NPR 150,000 per month. So with a time frame of 5 to 6 years, my job would help me to get the returns of my Master of Data Science degree cost. Further, I will have accumulated all the required experiences to hold the government job in the post of senior Data Analyst to secure my future. 

 

MY FAMILY TIES AND ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES:

I come from a small closely knit family. My mother (single), Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law has always encouraged and supported me in my decisions regarding higher education. It is very important for me to return back to her so that I can be with my family as it will be my turn to pay back for their efforts and support. My economic circumstances are very strong. Apart from funds my family also has property, right in the heart of Biratnagar, whose value grows every year. Being the only son I have to look after our property too. This shows the strong incentive to return to my home country.  

As an international student in Australia, I will have to abide by my visa condition as below: 

  • I have to study full time course with 80% attendance requirement.
  • I must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of my course.
  • I cannot change course and course provider for 6 months.
  • I must meet Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criterion.
  • I cannot start paid work before my course commencement.
  • I cannot work more than 40 hours per fortnight when course is in session.
  • I wish to abide by all these conditions.

DECLARATION:

I hereby certify that the information above, which has been supplied in support of my student visa application to assist me to demonstrate that I satisfy DIBP’s GS and GTE compliance requirements, has been completed in my own words and handwriting and is a true and correct account.

I understand that if any incorrect, misleading or non-genuine information is found in this SOP, my student visa application will be refused.                                                                                                         

Name: – (FULL NAME)

Passport Number: – XXXXXX

Date of Birth: – XX/XX/XXXX                                                                                                         

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
X