Entry Level Embedded Software Engineer

I am set to finish my BS degree in computer engineering at the end of June. I really want to get into embedded systems, both design and programing. Over the last few months I have sent out about 200 resumes to everyone I can think of that is in this field. I have yet to hear a response from anyone. I am applying for jobs all over the United States and am starting to get frustrated. Ideally I would like to land a job on one of the coasts. I have experience in embedded systems through school projects and projects in my free time but no "industry" experience I have two real problems:

  1. I didn't do too well my first year of college, but I've done really well ever sense. This means my GPA is around a 3.0 instead of like a 3.5 if you don't count my first year.
  2. I have industry experience but in the wrong area. I have allot of experience in IT and have my MCSE but I realized that this is not the field i want to go into

If anyone has any advise on how to get into the embedded systems field or know of anyone I should send my resume to. That would be really appreciated



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I've been programming 20 years and in the same boat, although I haven't sent

200 resumes (more like 20). I certainly wish you well.

How much hardware knowledge do you have? Have you tried sending resumes to places like Microchip Technology or Zilog or Motorola that make microcontrollers? You might be able to get in as an applications or field engineer. Did you ever interview with companies that came to campus? I know they go to colleges looking for recruits. You might also looking around places like

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You can post your resume on those sites too for recruiters to look at. Matter of fact, the ONLY bit I've had so far was from a recruiter seeing my resume, and it was for a non-embedded job to boot.

Don't limit yourself to embedded companies. The point is to get a job and get some experience and pay your bills. Once you have that, you can do some self-study and projects on your own to get that embedded experience. Even though it might be "official", companies might be impressed at the work you do on a home-built project, 'specially if you bring it in with you on an interview.

I wish you well on your job search.

Reply to
Gary Kato

Hello Aaron, Gary, and the others listening here,

I'd have to agree that getting a job, preferably computer or in another industry field should be your first priority. A few leads have been posted here recently. I've also been looking for similar work in a specific area of the USA but haven't found anything suitable yet. Right now I'm somewhere else.

My current employer isn't hiring... dying or downsizing is more like it. I've been involved in everything from mainframe to embedded programming. Companies who need this kind of help don't tend to advertise for just an embedded engineer. My experience is that companies that have similar jobs have both low level and application specific needs. So programming at embedded to at least application level is desired. A good knowledge of a specific technology or interest in the industry the employer is helpful in getting your foot in the door. Migrating to the embedded world may not be your first task.

We've heard from toy manufacturers, telecom, medical, industrial, automotive, communications, pager, cell phone, microcomputer, and other employers. My current company does alarm monitoring, telecom work, and custom electronics. We only have about 200 people of which there are a couple technical project managers and eight developers. We have national products you'd recognize but wouldn't think of wen searching for a job. I've found the most surprising places interested in hiring folks like us.

I've seen several posts here and elsewhere for GPS related embedded work. Some are automotive but the last few have been agricultural. My last two employers were in the medical industry and had need for embedded, image processing, and application work. A truck, combine, CAT/MRI Scanner, and telephone generally have lots of embedded systems.

Look for the subcontracters to industries where you think the job is. Want a job at NASA -- be a manager. Want that position on the next Mars rover, look at small companies in that locale. A good helping of interest and experience helps quite a bit. The automotice industry has a good subcontracter force.

I wish you well in your career. May it be a long and enjoyable one.


Reply to

One technique that's useful is to search monster, hotjobs and dice, and then to look at the recruiter info in the job listing and contact the recruiter directly rather than applying through the job site. The recruiter will probably have other positions in his/her database and it's faster to develop these leads if you have a direct relationship with the recruiter.

What area are you in? I know a couple of recruiters in my area looking for embedded people.

Reply to
Lewin A.R.W. Edwards

That will not work (never has) unless your thesis is a good fit with the company's products.

In case you haven't heard, "networking" is 10x more effective that CV's. You just have to talk to people. Remember the 7 levels of connectedness! - RM

Reply to
Rick Merrill

Another useful technique is to search the appropriate job boards (monster, computerjobs, hotjobs etc) for certain keywords. The results may give an indication of the skills currently being sought. However, keep in mind that job boards are sometimes a little slow in removing jobs which have already been filled, that some companies don't even use job boards, and that some jobs are filled so quickly that the requirements never even make it to the job boards.

You might want to check out the various Yahoo Groups. I've even seen jobs posted in places like the AVRFreaks.net Trading Post forum.

Networking - forming associations, and keeping contact, with like-minded professionals - is a pretty good way to keep your finger on the pulse (or your probe on the pin - or whatever today's trendy phrase might be).


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Reply to
Pete Gray

One thing to keep in mind is that people want to hire folks that they know can get the job done - who have "been there, done that".

If I were in your shoes, I'd build a really cool and impressive demonstration project, something that you can show on a website and carry with you on interviews.

Not only will that show that you've "been there and done that", but it will make for much more interesting interviews.

Good luck!!

Al Cohen

Aar> I am set to finish my BS degree in computer engineering at the end of

Reply to
Alan Cohen

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