You have made the decision to pursue an engineering degree so the first thing you need to do is make the decision about which engineering program you wish to study. This may be in mechanical, electrical, architectural, bio-medical or one of many other specialties. With whatever program you choose, you will want to find the best school for that specialty based on your personal needs.
Next you will need to investigate the schools that offer courses in your desired engineering specialty, and create a list of the schools that offer what you are looking for. Then you may begin to narrow the list down based on a number of variables. You will want to know whether you plan on attending school on-campus of if an on-line school better fits your schedule and lifestyle. On-line schooling can be very convenient, but requires a high level of self-discipline.
After you have a short list of schools that fit your initial requirements, you may begin applying some filters to the list to eventually find the one school you wish to attend. The process of filtering should consider a list of what is most important to you and fits your needs.
To begin this process, you want to consider the accreditation of the schools, and how they each appear to employers and future clients. The reputation of the school can make all the difference in your future success. The degree that the school offers in your program should be accepted by the industry as one of high value. Some schools offer degrees that are not looked upon as highly and might not be of value in the future. Also, some schools will not accept prior credits and may not even transfer credits to another school should you choose to switch schools or seek a further degree.
Scheduling and curriculum are both important aspects of schooling and you will want to choose a school that offers schedules that meet your lifestyle and that have the curriculum that will allow you to make progress at a good pace.
One very important thing to consider is if the school offers student co-op work opportunities. This can be an extremely valuable resource for you especially in the latter half of your schooling. The experience gained by working for a firm or employer as you continue your schooling will be a big selling point on your resume and will give you valuable insight into what parts of the curriculum you may need to pay particular attention to.
If you plan on attending on-campus, then the location of the school will be of major importance. In this case, you may be able to commute to school, but if the school chosen is further away you will need to think about relocation and living accommodations.
If you have made the decision to attend schooling on-line, you need to be aware of the advantages and difficulties this will bring. Attend on-line is convenient and can be scheduled to fit your needs, but it also requires a level of commitment and self-discipline. You will have little or no direct motivation and will need to have good communication with your school adviser, instructors and classmates. You will also want to be particularly careful in evaluating the schools degree, course offerings and support available.
Engineering is a huge field and has many benefits, but also has quite a large amount of competition and the choices you make early in the process will affect your career and future as an engineer.