just thought i'd provide a data point from someone who's been working for a while. i graduated from Cal with B.S. in EECS in 2002. i wanted to do BioMEMS, but found it hard to find almost any job at all... maybe it was combination of being a little idealistic and wanting to find something i really wanted to do and avoid doing something else and getting pigeon-holed, which was advice that i had heard, and fall-out from the dot-com bust. but in any case i ended up doing not much of anything. i worked as a software system analyst for GE and doing an internship with a optical MEMS startup at night, for the most part. even did some tutoring. i decided to go back to school a couple years later in 2004, and went to UC Irvine.
i still had a passion for bioMEMS, so when i started my program, i talked to a professor to gain advice on whether i should change my major (to BioE), or stick with with EECS. he said basically i could go either way. if i changed to BioE, it would take an extra year of prerequisites before i could officially get into the program. i could then graduate with an M.S. without doing a thesis and look for work. if i stick with EECS, he recommended that i do a thesis so that i could emphasize in bioMEMS. i wanted to save time, so i stuck with EECS. but it turned out that i didn't save any time, because doing research added just as much time, if not more, than a year of BioE prereqs. my thesis was in microfluidics.
looking for a job in 2007, i still found it hard to find a good fit for a job. it took a 6 months of looking, and i ended up as a MEMS test engineer at an aerospace company. i worked on accelerometers mostly. but i wasn't happy there with either the work or the environment, and switched jobs. i had been keeping my eye out and applying to biomedical device-related positions, but never had any luck. i went back to Cal, this time as a staff engineer, working under a professor fabricating RF MEMS. i've been there ever since, and now i'm still looking for a job in the biomedical device industry. i came close to getting one with a late-stage start up earlier this year. i went through a phone interview and on-site interview. i heard that they liked me, and called my references. i spoke to my references and they said they gave me good recommendations for the job. but in the end they gave to job to someone else that had 1) more industry/manufacturing experience, and 2) more experience with plastics and chemistry.
to be honest, throughout all these years since graduating with EECS from Cal, there have been many, many job openings that i liked and applied for, but which listed BioE and MechE as their preferred qualifications. each time i saw that i kicked myself for sticking with EECS.
long story short, i've had a hard time getting into the biomedical device industry as an EECS major. since i'm hearing that BioE is not any better, i guess mechanical would've been the best path to take (for me).