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I've had a degree in electrical engineering for 1.5 years now, and I have yet to work as an engineer.

Every interview I get, the interviewer says that it's concerning that I don't have any work experience in engineering and I've just done academic research since undergrad. They don't want to hear about side projects like building an amplifier or look at my Github - they say this specifically.

I've sent out 3 applications about every day since before I graduated, so well over a thousand, and I've had about 20 phone interviews as a result with zero offers.

I don't know how to get a job as an engineer. Most of my peers I graduated with are in the same boat and work in tech support or academia, and they all hate it. Almost no one in my class was able to get an internship, including me.

Has anyone been able to get past the "2+ years of experience in $DOMAIN" requirement?

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    I would say get masters degree or specialize in specific domain. Add the country tag and if you're in India you should seriously consider the specializing. – Prison Mike Jun 27 at 4:33
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    Every interview I get, the interviewer says that it's concerning that I don't have any work experience in engineering and I've just done academic research since undergrad. What are the posts you are applying for? Surely the entry level jobs doesn't require to have any work experience. Double check the job description before applying. Don't apply for the job which requires work experience, target the jobs which are advertised to be entry-level. – Sourav Ghosh Jun 27 at 5:26
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    Surely the entry level jobs doesn't require to have any work experience. [insert your favourite laughter GIF] – Juha Untinen Jun 27 at 5:41
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    You're supposed to have done ~2 years' worth of work and networking during your studies, including the mandatory practical training many degree programmes have. According to employers. – Juha Untinen Jun 27 at 5:44
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I graduated with an Associate's Degree in Computer Programming in 1999. I thought for sure I'd be working the next month as a COBOL programmer. But that didn't happen.

I ended up taking a job as a "Network Operations Engineer". That's a fancy name for the individual that sits and watches a bunch of DOS apps on a Novell network. If/when one failed I rebooted it and then called someone to fix it if it didn't come up. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but it got my foot in the door at a big company that had programmers.

From there I got promoted to QA, graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in MIS, and I taught myself Cold Fusion and ASP, then I walked into the boss's office after he fired a developer one day and asked for the job.

The point? Be willing to take a job that isn't perfectly matching your degree. Get your foot in the door and work to improve your marketable skills from there.

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One thing you can do is trying to improve your chances to get into an interview where they are more willing to overlook this factor and make them want to choose you over someone else with more experience.

Something that I have seen recommended often, and which has also helped in my own experience, is to write fewer applications but make sure you write a cover letter proving that you are really excited about the position. This will put you in a more positive light and make the interviewers more likely to overlook your lack of experience.

Another thing I can highly recommend is visiting job fairs and talking to people before applying. This personal touch can also help people to see beyond formal deficiencies.

This advice is of course in addition to Keith's answer and all the helpful comments people have already posted.

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