how do I become a computer hardware verification engineer?

I graduated with a major in Computer engineering and a minor in computer science got good grades mostly above 3.0 was a teacher assistant for C programming took an internship as a controls engineer did a partnership with a national laboratory designing an entire spectrum analyzer from the ground up involving custom dsp functions (like taylor series and stuff) and FPGAs. When I graduated I could implement an 802.11b in an FPGA from design to verification to working prototype in about a week. I wasn't genius but I was good. Now, I have let my skills go to waste. Its been nearly 10 years since graduation and I haven't since utilized my hardware logic design skills except once. I designed and simulated a decoder for our company's sonar tracking systems to show my boss (chief engineer) that an FPGA can do the same thing as our datalogger signal processors that requred 2 DSPs 3 microcontrollers and about 2000 stuffed electronic parts while consuming an amp of current. He wasn't impressed, he was condescending and started using lots of Math DSP terms that were above my head, then ended by disinterestedly saying it was interesting and please send him a copy of my work. But he did nothing with my design and kept me out of the next design and on backburner projects mostly. He fired me a year later saying he didnt trust me. Turns out the old design was his job security. Anyway I have been working as an r and d electronic technican and engineering support tech which makes me feel like a 38 year old waterboy. So I'm wondering how I can get back up on that horse and actually score a real engineering job involving embedded systems programming / digital logic design and so on. Is it best to go from Engineering Support(with some test functions) to Test Engineer to Verification Engineer to Design Engineer? or go straight for Design Engineer through what? Masters? Certification like UCIrvine extensions programs? Or is there some opensource engineering projects? Its too hard to work independently on my own projects because I perform best in two situations. 1. A socially oriented environment like people checking up on my progress and 2. a deadline person. I get excited by cramming and getting tons done in a compact little time but need a deadline to push me. Any help appreciated. Thanks.

Asked By: Ricardo Montobon - 8/8/2012
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
That's a tough problem. It is really hard in today's environment to change job categories like you mention in your first scenario. For whatever reason, people are much more willing to hire you for a position similar to one you've recently done, or recently been trained to do... More
Answered By: Mike - 8/10/2012
Additional Answers (1)
Maybe you should ask this question on or . Yahoo answers is great for some stuff but I've never had great answers, or any responses at all to technical CE questions or career stuff.
Answered By: Embedded man - 8/9/2012
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