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Entry Level Embedded Software Engineer

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Aaron, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron Guest

    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


    Aaron, Jun 4, 2004
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  2. Aaron

    Gary Kato Guest

    Over the last few months I have sent out about 200
    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 www.hotjobs.com, www.monster.com, and www.dice.com. 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

    I wish you well on your job search.
    Gary Kato, Jun 4, 2004
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  3. Aaron

    David Guest

    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

    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

    David, Jun 6, 2004
  4. June. I really want to get into embedded systems, both design and
    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.
    Lewin A.R.W. Edwards, Jun 6, 2004
  5. Aaron

    Rick Merrill Guest

    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
    - RM
    Rick Merrill, Jun 6, 2004
  6. Aaron

    Pete Gray Guest

    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).

    Pete Gray, Jun 6, 2004
  7. Aaron

    Alan Cohen Guest

    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
    Alan Cohen, Jun 7, 2004
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