I hope this is the correct forum. I would appreciate any advice from any developers/engineers willing to give.
I am having difficulties progressing my career into the engineer world. I graduated a year ago with my Masters in Software engineering and maintained almost a 4.0 (3.96). I lived in a rural state so technology jobs were hard to find. I ended up finding one in support while I was in school and took it for the experience. I work on customization support as well as building small customizations for large customers. I should also say the company has been very good to me and has me on a plan to development, just a very long plan. I am part of a very long project over the next few years and basically, I cannot move to engineering, officially, until it is complete. I am trying to speed things up if possible, maybe it is not.
I have relocated to a hot area of engineering jobs and there are several openings. I have been interviewing with several companies over the past few months and have been very pleased with my ability to land an interview. Out of 12 or so applications, I have interviewed with 7 companies. I go through several interviews, usually 5 to 8 with each company. What I keep being told is, I have great soft skills and my technical ability is almost there. ie They list 5 or so requirements and there are usually 2 I don't know. I try to research them but as I am sure you know, you cannot become an expert in those areas over a few days trying to prepare for an interview.
A few of the companies have actually offered me junior positions but they would require a pay cut. I have a young family and cannot afford a pay cut at this time. I know I am not senior but I am also confident I am not junior. (I have been in my current position for almost 3 years and was a developer for a small start up for a year and a half before that)
Anyone been in this situation before with good advice?