Why a PDEng program
Why whould you choose to take part in a 2-year PDEng program. Since you will actually make only 60-70% of the salary you would make at a company, you should expect other returns. Here are some considerations.
Companies recognize that graduated PDEng's grow way faster than people with just a MSc degree. During the program they have learned how to reflect on their position in an industrial environment. And they now how to act on that, to the benifit of the company and their own benifit.
This is because during the program you are focused on learning, while at the same time executing projects in the real industrial world.
Companies often offer traineeships to high end applicants. These traineeships definitely have a personal growth part. However, key focus is often for you to learn the overall structure and way of working of a company. So the traineeship gets you ready for this specific company.
Additionally traineeships are more on the manegerial site. PDEng programs, while having a clear component on professisonal skills, are about solving complex, multidisciplainary technological problems.
You get the possibility, especially in the year project, to do a project you would never be able to do as a young engineer. When employed as a Master you will get a lot of small tasks as project member in a major project. As a PDEng trainee you get the responsibility for your own project (which will still have a lot of interaction with other projects).
You will do projects in a wide variety of areas. Of course, there is always a link with your background, but projects are mostly not in-line with e.g. your Master work. We look for people who are into technological challenges and are able to work these out in cooperation with other people.
You get paid less, you have to work harder (on projects and your own growth), but you learn stuff you would not learn otherwise (or only at a way slower rate).
Whether it fits for you, of course, depends on your personal ambition. With all trainees we make a personal development plan to further finetune the general program to their specific needs.