Is learning at the SAE Institute worthwhile?

I’m big on education. The more you know the better your music will sound, the more jobs you will get, the more money you will be paid and the more fun you will have. Last week I was talking to a friend of mine in Spain and he was telling me about his experience at the SAE Insitute over there. First off, he told me he paid about 9000€. Immediately I let out a big gulp. Teachers should be paid yes. Equipment is expensive yes… but still. I give him “props” as he’s not a native Spanish speaker and all his classes are in Spanish. Because of this however his grades are low. This doesn’t reflect on his music or drive because his tracks are well produced and he’s involved with some decent commercial work already. However, he complains that he can never get studio time at the school except for early in the morning around 8:00AM. He also mentioned that he has several rotating substitute teachers, none of which he has confidence in. He doesn’t like that they gave him the cheapest Mac laptop (the white one). I guess he should have known which computer he was going to get before entering into the program.

I know this post could be seen as a little controversial but I got the notion it was a good topic because over at the Sound on Sound Magazine forums a new bloak asks what people think about SAE almost daily. Almost daily the reviews are mainly negative. Here’s an example: click here

“i’d do a cost analysis: student loans versus potential income. hmmmmmmm, let’s see… potential income = zero” – Sqye, Gearslutz Forum Member

So are any of you currently enrolled at SAE? What do you think? Any allumni want to chime? Is it worth it? I think a lot of people coming into the music business want to know.

Some forum threads on the subject at Gearslutz: click here and another one.

Published by

Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

448 thoughts on “Is learning at the SAE Institute worthwhile?”

  1. @hero thank you for your post;you don’t waisting youre time!
    I am a former SAE-Amsterdam student myself. I buy my diploma of recording production from SAE AMSTERDAM few years ago.
    Yes I buy it….!!!In the year 1999 i don’t have time to go to the end examens and I pay FL.1.500 (twothousands) gulden to the “Director”of Education for the Diploma….!!!!Yes!
    I pay for the course : FL.8.000 ..!!!IT WAS A BIG SHAME:
    – “Teachers” who come there to teach ,former students of SAE,with no experience, copying notes from something that could have been photocopied.
    Because I am a professional musicia/classical educate .sometimes I put some questions and NO ONE from the “teachers”can give to me an answer.
    The recording gear?!?!A BIG SHAME !Everything old,crap !!
    I don’t no how today is the situation today but in the yars 90’it was a real SAE Gangsters Institute with a corrupt Direction !

  2. This institution knows nothing about the creative side of sound engineering or filmmaking “All the gear but no idea”. Students would be better off spending their money on their own projects as they would do better than being in this depressing environment.

  3. @Ben~

    SAE is a technical school first and formost. They never claimed to be an art/music/film school. I think perhaps you missed the point. Best of luck.

  4. well, first of all I think that especially nowadays you really don’t need SAE of whatever anymore. I have spoken to lots of people who went to SAE or other schools or educations like that (here in Holland we got the so called ‘Pop Academy’ ) and schools promises their students they will be big in the music industry, because they have contacts with mayor labels and important persons in the industry etc.. At the end the schools do nothing for you and you just payed a lot of money for knowledge you also could have gotten from watching youtube videos and reading manuals.
    Nowadays on youtube there are so many vids of big producers giving tips and lessons on how to use studio equipment and/or software; and also lots of vids of unknown people giving (sometimes even better) tips and tricks on how to use a studio…
    If I read here that people payed $8000 for such an education, my guess is you can better spend it on building you’re own little homestudio and educate yourself via youtube, blogs, magazines and manuals! (damn, I wish I had $8000 right now to rebuild my studio, haha!)

  5. Michael,
    I went to SAE in NYC. No one there ever promised me a job when I signed up. They where very clear with the facts. This is a hard business to get into and make a living in. Secondly, to suggest that you can learn how to be an audio engineer with only manuals and videos on YouTube is ridiculous! Most studios won’t even talk to you regarding an internship, let alone a job, unless you have been to school. I’m not saying that there isn’t some good info on line, I’m saying none of it will make sense unless you have a solid foundation in audio and engineering.

    1. sorry, I dont agree. I started off in producing stuff about 20 years ago and I knew nothing about how to do it. Most big producers and so called audio engineers never saw any school or studied to start of with – when they started out. most audio engineers are still just that… and not at all creative. perhaps a audio engineer knows more about some areas then me, most likely to be the case… but will he be as artistic? I doubt it. thats why most audio engineers are no artists, and why many artists getting to know the insides of audio engineering: to get rid of these arrogant beggars that tell you something cannot be done because in their posh school they didn’t teach them… sorry if that sounds harsh. I am also a ex student of SAE in Spain, and feel its an absolute conn. ridiculous money for very little in return. but you do learn something: never trust a place like this again. I learned more useful stuff from other students then from the teachers.

      1. But most of those “big time producers” got their start when recording studios where all over the place. There are FAR less recording studios now, at least in the US, and a lot more competition for those jobs. You will most definitely have to start as an intern no matter where you are. Any advantage is a good advantage. Also, you cant get exposure to professional gear, to get your hands on it and really learn how to use it, by buying consumer level gear at your corner music store or from an online video. How are you going to learn to use a patch bay, work with actual magnetic tape, lean how to work on a large format consol? You cant do that on your own. Now if you want to work at some at some small project studio, just make beats or record you and your friends cool. But your chances of getting into a professional recording studio are slim to none. And if you are looking to get into post production for get about it. No school, no way.

    1. dont apply and safe the money for your studio and smaller specific courses. get some practise first and then take some specialised courses. you will safe a lot of cash

  6. SamE:
    It really depends on what you are looking for. I enjoyed it and learned a lot. Is it perfect? No. But what is? At the NYC school the teachers and admin are great. They really want you to learn. But dont go there and expect anyone to hold your hand. You have to work really hard. Most of the students that started the program didnt finish because they couldnt keep up. On the other hand, if you bust your ass and need help the staff will go out of their way to help you out. To be clear I am only talking about the SAE in NYC. Have no exp with any of the other schools.

    1. i agree. you must work very hard to get something out of this course. my experience with the teachers in the Barcelona school is that the couple of them who really knew did take their time, and where very nice and helpful, but its the mayority that lets you down, they switch teachers without informing, teachers are late on an almost daily basis or dont turn up in some cases.. far to many students for a small installation like the barcelona sae… hundreds of students… literally… they only thing that we as students had an interest in was the one thing we had in common: our love for music.

      in the first exam, 74% of the students didnt make it, less then half make the final exam and of this less then half, half only just about get their after taking extra classes (more money) extra practise sessions (more money) and repeating exams, (again, more money). you get me?

      1. Sounds like the school in Barcelona sucks. But I had nothing but a good experience in New York. Those that didnt make it, out of 33 of us only about 12 made it, didnt dedicate them selves or just didnt have the talent. Thats not the schools fault… it’s the students.

      2. I currently study at SAE London. I can understand that you are pissed cause by the sounds of it barcelona really sucked. So far (i’m studying the audio engineering degree) i have had no issues at all with the school and the education is at a great standard! the lecturers are not ex students they are industry professionals. They know what they’re talking about and the exams are not hard all you need to do is remember some formulae and info… this requires some revision! again i think 1/2 of it is some people cannot be assed to try cause they are lazy. It isnt a uni where you can afford to miss lectures… this is a specialized college

  7. SamE: It’s really good for gaining a general knowledge of audio engineering. The main focus of the school is recording music… they offer little in the way of post production, though oddly that is the field I choose to pursue.
    As far as contacts, they do the best they can to help you out. But they make NO guarantees, no promises. This business is really tough right now. You MUST learn to network to get any where. Read up as much as you can on the industry and start knocking on doors as soon as your done with school. I will say this. If you can see yourself being happy doing something else a bit more bland and secure for a living, do that. Because you WILL struggle in this business.

  8. To be honest, Im currently a degree student at SAE (in the UK) and it is too damn expensive. The diploma course was alright and the degree course is a pile of shit. Mainly cause its the most unorganised course ever. Classes tend to be cancelled and some classes teach you the most pointless shit. They never get back to you when it comes to wanting the “lecturers” feedback on a project. You cant be late or miss a lecture otherwise anything below a 90% attendance rate means you cant pass the course (yet, they seem to have no objection when it comes to cancelling classes and notifying you 15 mins before class starts). Furthermore, the courses are too short and too intensive with no choice of a longer course (although the diploma does offer part time courses). Equipment is up to scratch although half the time some of the stuff doesnt work or is broken, Location of the building is really bad and in such a run down area. The management is shit beyond shit, we just got our student ID cards (3 months after the course starts) and we havnt got our certificates yet (which is really bad for students who have done the Diploma and have left to find a job). Although your pretty much paying for a degree and even though its not all up to scratch like harvard or MIT, now a days, u need a degree (or even better), but since employment has fallen rapidly, I suggest you do more than just look for a job. Maybe start your own recording studio. A past SAE student has started his own rehearsal/recording studio and he’s doing really well. fully booked every day etc. Or you can just work at a shitty recording studio getting min wage. Either way, your choice. Hope this helps. oh and I almost forgot, studio time is good although throughout the year it will start getting packed due to the new students getting to grips with the equipment, thats why ive been in the studio non stop since ive started so I can get everything I need to get done finished as fast as possible.

    1. Hi Omez, do you know anything about the Oxford institute? Which one are you at now? I went to an open day and may be doing the BA 2nd year degree there in audio production.

      1. hey man, im at the sae glasgow institute. apparently the SAE Oxford is one of the best. cause it was the first one. So I cant really help you out with how the facilities are etc. Ive just started my Degree course (the one ure looking to do) and its not what i expected but hey, as long as I get my degree ill be happy. and ive got plenty of time in the studio to do whatever I want as we have less classes this year and not a lot of the other classes are in the studios that I use. But according to the SAE im at, we, for some reason, get more privelages than other SAE’s in terms of studio time. hope that helps. just let me know if u need more advice

        1. Although in all fairness, the lecturers know what their talking about, they can be approached whenever u need advice or help, especially with studios. Theyre really nice and make u feel pretty comfortable when approaching them for help. Prices (although expensive), is worth it cause they teach u everything u need to know about the industry and audio engineering etc. and for what ure paying, u get ure degree like 2 years before normal uni’s give u ure qualification therefore having all the skills u need 2 years before a normal student at a normal university would. Also compared to universities that charge like 9 grand a year for international students, meaning ure gonna end up paying 36 grand in 4 years, SAE glasgow charge around like 7 thousand I think for the diploma and the degree therefore ure saving half the money in SAE than u would spend on a normal university. Also, we have top quality equipment and our neve studio just got fully upgraded, 002 edit suit has been upgraded and we’ve got two other really cool studios (D control and pro control). D control has got surround sound installed in it so movie editing can be done. studios are open from 10am-10pm from mondays- friday and then 10pm-6pm on a saturday. and like I stated before, we get awesome privilages cause the classes we have are in the afternoon so we can get studios in the morning AND afternoon. Good range of Mic’s. Condensers and dynamics. Classes are big and theres not many students which is a good thing cause u get more one on one with lecturers and no distractions in classes! Also, Glasgow is pretty nice too, good nightlife and SAE provide hands on work when there are concerts or film projects in the area.

          1. So summarising everything, SAE Glasgow is probably the cheapest out of all the other SAE’s and you still get what you need. Studios and theory work. Glasgow itself is pretty cheap for living compared to like london and all those other places and I think the studio time we get is probably the best part! We’re also near a tescos’ greggs and like a 15 min walk to town centre and 2 min walk to the subway station and like a 5 second walk to the busses so transport is easy!

          2. Well thanks for all your info on Glasgow but Oxford will be easier for me because I’m from south west england, plymouth area. I got a good feeling from Oxford, mainly because of contacts too from around the UK and London compared to what I’m doing in plymouth at the moment. I am doing a foundation degree at the moment, I just want to complete just a 3rd year BA. I don’t mind about the costs of the course, etc, it’s what I get out of it at the end of the day and it’s like that saying, it’s not what you know it’s who you know? I love the city of Oxford too and definitely prefer it to London now.
            Thanks for your help anyway and I’m sure someone on here will have a look at what you’ve said and will be convinced on going to glasgow, sure it’s great!

  9. This thread is huge!

    Anyways, to say that government (state) schools have better resources is laughable (have you seriously investigated this?!). Maybe Australia has it worse, I don’t know.

    I’m with JB on this. Nothing is perfect. I managed to do very well, but that was mostly because I’m not a drop-kick. Seriously, most of my class mates (and many people who come to my studio!) had no concept of hard work and spent most of their time whinging about little things (most of which happen in the field!) “oh this aux doesn’t work, this is f*&ked.. etc”

    I think it’s a case of the demographic. Lazy musicians.

    At the end of the day, do your research on the college you’re about to attend and don’t bother looking a averaging everyone. Far out sometimes I go to maccas and the service sucks, what do I do? go to a different one.

  10. Hey guys. I have a question….I was thinking odf applying at SAE Los Angeles. I looked on the website and they said after course completion they help do job placements. Do you guys know anything about the insitute in Los Angeles? And did they help with job placements at the institutes you guys all went to?

  11. Glad I could be of service mate. Sae is pretty much a straight forward institution. No bullshit or anything. they teach u what u need to know in two years instead of spreading it out to 4 years and dedicating 2 of those years to irrelevant stuff. Lots of practical work involved too which is something not many other uni’s do which is what ive heard. So hope u have fun at SAE dude.

  12. SAE is really expensive. Nowadays you can really make it with state universities or just additional courses which are much more cheaper.
    I am studying in SAE amsterdam and i can’t get no scholarships or allowance because it is not recognized to be as a normal educational institution.
    So that sucks big time. Also as many people stated above you are not guaranteed with a job afterwards. So does it pay off?? Really doubt it… It’s how much work you put into it (and you can do it on your own) and how lucky you are. You need to make a network of people, so you have a possibility to gain knowledge and access to studios etc.

    Thinking of cancelling the studies, has anyone have experience with this? You get a refund as i understand?

  13. Hi guys !

    Thanks for this thread. I would like to hear an opinion of SAE berlin students, because i’m a foreing student and want to get into this university next fall. I need your advise, guys. I saw a lot of pics from SAE Berlin, have read a lot of info about sound engeneering course and so on. I understand that it costs expensive… But is there any alternative in Berlin where you can study sound engeneering course ? Thanks in advance !

  14. Hey, through reading the thread it seems like alot of people are against sae! Anyone any advice on SAE London, thinking of moving over from ireland to go so would it be worth it??

    1. Well, I went to Alchemea and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. While there may much good about SAE London, you do tend to hear a lot of complaints too. I’m sure there are those that haven’t had a perfect experience at Alchemea or any of the others schools but what it definitely has going for it is it is an intense 9 month course rather than 2 years and from everything else I’ve heard (and I’ve met a know many people who went to both) you get waaay more practical time on the equipment. Now, this equipment isn’t as new, nor the rooms as spectacular, but it’s more than yuo need to get your head around the world of audio. Not trying to take sides here but just thought you should check Alchemea out as it gave me everything I wanted and more.

  15. I’ve got to this blog
    after quite a while and have made some contributions to it last year regarding why one should NOT go to SAE…
    Anyway, the point is: –

    If you have a degree/diploma/certificate, you might get a job or internship at a Audio production organisation for starters.

    If you are incompetent …then you’r degree is not going to save you’r job! Does not matter which college you went to….right ?

    On the other hand if you are a musician and learn Sound engineering thru you’r own hard work, ie for eg make and mix a track,as a part of you’r Resume / Bio-Data and show that to a studio etc – you would have shown exactly what you are capable of and you’r own initiative towards work.

    That also, could get you an internship…and then you could do special courses for live sound or in protools or logic or broadcast etc…as you intern along side

    Point being if you are competent then you’ll get a job,
    coz all the guyz from SAE would have got kicked out eventually and people will be looking for competent people…!!lol haha

    If you’r incompetent then no one cares what certificate you have.

    My other point is that SAE’s game is to complicate things, to make the course seem really tough and long, so that they can charge more for the longer course.
    It’s like talking to an elder, in the hope of finding an answer…but when the elder realises, that if he gave you the answer you would stop visiting him, he realises that talking “around” the answer is the next best thing….lol ha

    It’s…this “hope” that you have to be careful of!!

    Don’t go to SAE with hope, go there with questions….u see what i’m trying to point out here…??

    And so… SAE does not care if you’r spirit is crushed due to incompetent teachers and unnecessary DATA (course material) they just want you to keep trying….and sit in for the next exam and pay some more money…to them.

    If you require a certificate, so you have an excuse to intern, do a short course from wherever you feel like, you’ll have a certificate to take for the interview…beyond that it will be you’r motivation and ability…

    Before one spends money on a degree/diploma course, i would suggest you buy a small, budget mixer, a budget mic and some low o/p monitor speakers…(eg jbl control 1 or similar)
    Sit at home, rec you’r voice and also learn how to route audio sources(media player,mic,keyboard etc).
    Along with this do an online course.

    This way you will save on rent / travel / food / expences / bank loan !

    Even at SAE they say “Read The Manual” , then if you have to read the manual…do you need to pay someone(SAE) to tell you that ?

    I’m telling you for free “Read The Manual” !

    Open the software, switch off the mobile, open a red wine , record something….read the manual.
    Start with Sound Forge (two track editor)
    then go multitrack editor (nuendeo /protools / logic)
    Tweak you’r voice in the audio software’s processing section..
    Find a friend who plays the guitar or an aunt who sings (after a cpl of drinks ofcourse!!)
    Have fun, get online and look at all the links possible for , say “Equalisation” or “how to solder an XLR” n so on…
    Learn things , share gear or it’s cost, so you may distribute costs and learning

    Trust me when i say this, if you’r competent no one or nothing will be able to stop you….
    So, as a friend and a well wisher i only mean to say , invest in you’rself first-learn one aspect of audio well (live/studio/production/broadcast)
    Research the net and grow…when you can’t grow by you’r own efforts anymore then go do a degree or diploma.
    This is a guideline- especially for those people who don’t have college money but the passion does not let them rest either :-)

    @ollard: speak to the SAE students once they are outside the premises,post office hours, having a break…SAE is just another corporation, an ethicless, spineless entity playing on peoples hopes and dreams.


    Take the CURRICULUM of any of their Courses and use the list of topics as searches on google ;-)

    1. Well look at the generalising twit…

      As a previous lecturer at 1 of the 50+ SAE’s, you’r(e) now telling me that I didn’t care about my students and that I didn’t make every effort to turn them into great engineers/producers?! You’ve got some nerve buddy. I’ve never met a past student that doesn’t have the greatest respect for me and what I taught them.

      Apologies for this comment, but you’re a fool with a chip on your shoulder.

  16. There he is again….
    This guy “Hero” has been on here before. I will point out again, as I have in the past, that in order to work in the industry you need a good foundation in audio… not just some manuels and an online course. I am a graduate of SAE NY, glad I went and Im doing very well out here in the REAL world.
    How can you go into a studio never having got your hands on a large format console? Having never put your hands on a patch bay? Having never learned anything about microphones and how to mic up a drum set properly? Yes, we had a saying in school, “RTFM” Read The Fucking Manual! But a reference manual is not enough. You need hands on experience.
    I have seen and met some SAE haters out there. These are people who couldn’t cut it and dont have the balls to take responsibility for their lack. They are kids who thought they where gonna come out as some big time engineer/producer and reality didnt live up to their fantasy.
    At the end of the day “Hero” you just sound like a bitter child. Your a small person of no significance. If you had a career, or any kind of real life to speak of, you wouldn’t always be posting the hateful crap. Take responsibility for your own problems and stop trolling.



  18. Wow. Just read through all the comments from other SAE institutions overseas. Cant speak for them i’m afraid. I’m currently enrolled at SAE London. I have a great class, a great dedicated team of educators, with all sorts of backgrounds and experience, and amazing facilities.

    To the person that said you can learn the equivalent to what they teach us on YouTube… Not sure you could learn to use an SSL 6000 G+ on YouTube. Nor an SSL AWS 900, Neve VR Legend, Neve Genesys, Tascam DM3200, Yamaha O2R96, TLA VTC 32 + all sorts of other consoles & outboard gear I haven’t yet used. How about having access to all this equipment and more 24/7? If you have a minute, head on over to SAE London’s site, and peek a look at some of the studio spaces. I just can’t understand why anybody would go and flame something they haven’t even experienced. It’s beyond me. Have you sat in a SAE classroom and learned about Helmholtz Resonators, or how to work out what +10dBu is in dBV? No, i thought not. You cannot go around criticising what you have no idea about.

    “As a previous lecturer at 1 of the 50+ SAE’s, you’r(e) now telling me that I didn’t care about my students and that I didn’t make every effort to turn them into great engineers/producers?! You’ve got some nerve buddy. I’ve never met a past student that doesn’t have the greatest respect for me and what I taught them.
    Apologies for this comment, but you’re a fool with a chip on your shoulder.”

    Well said sir. No need to apologise.

  19. I am interested in going to SAE Los Angeles…Can somebody give me some feedback on their program. I have had my own home studio for almost 5 years. I have also attended community college for audio engineering (bullshit course) All in all I know the basics for studio etiquette and mixing but I go by ear more than technicalities when it comes to engineering, production and sound design. I am also inconsistent at times..(Crisp mix sometimes and alot of times very very muddy depending on what i am mixing) I am more interested in running my own business in music production and recording more than job placement. Should I bite the bullet and take the loan for SAE?… Any reponses would be appreciated..Thanks!

  20. Ok, so first off I want to say that I studied at SAE London and achieved my degree. The first year was fantastic, it’s a real hands on learning experience. More of an old school style poly-technic college than an academic one.

    The second year focuses on academia alongside the technical. Yes, the focus is technological and more so than an arty approach. But without creativity yourself, what do you expect to achieve in this industry. Creativity is not really something that can be taught, but you can be taught how to use the tools you need to achieve your creative result.

    London campus is great and by far the best in the UK. They have fantastic consoles there, that you could only dream of getting your hands on in the real world. I know all of these consoles inside and out and let me tell you something, I read the manuals before using and trust me, it doesn’t work as a primary way of learning these complex machines.

    If you are serious about becoming an engineer for music or post, I highly recommend London. Ad as far as price goes, shit, the UK is in recession and thanks to our lovely government every uni in the country is charging around £9,000 per year give or take. So is it going to kill you that much to be roughly a £1,000 more in debt to the student loan company????

    Back when I studied It was more expensive but now, I definitely would go for it. The beauty of a private college education with hands on specialist skills in audio for the price of your bog standard tourism degree. Erm….. yes please.

    Now here’s something you need to ask yourself if you are considering studying at SAE or not.

    Can you successfully route an onboard oscillator to act as a sub frequency kick drum support through an SSL G+ console, utilising the dynamics processors in mixdown status?

    If the answer is huh? wtf is he talking about, then you need to go and learn an SSL G+ console. You can do this by going to SAE London and learning it, or try and figure it out by reading the manual…. good luck with that.

    If the answer is yes, then you either studied at SAE or own this console, or work with one.

  21. Saw this thread and noticed with all the responses from SAE employees defending this education group on many topics, not one has denied the illegal software pirating they were caught commiting in Germany.
    If true it’s quite shocking. Is there one SAE employee who will deny it and sign their name to it?

      1. That’s not a denial now is it. Still not one denial from SAE on this matter. I guess BSA and German police are making it all up?

        This is a very serious crime. I can’t imagine if it’s true what other criminal activity is intentionally being committed? One doesn’t accidentally plan a widespread pirating scam.

        1. The above is completely true, I worked at SAE and remember this incident clearly.
          Even after that illegal software were still used at SAE campuses around the world, I guess nothing has changed.

  22. I’m currently thinking of going into SAE in England perhaps…I know there are 4 schools there, I don’t know which is best though I noticed the rather big price gaps between them. Anyway do you need any specific knowledge to enter the school. Also I saw that we must have our earing checked. I believe i have slight earing loss in my right ear, but i am not entirely sure, anyway would that affect me entering the school?

    (english is my second language)

  23. Saw this thread and noticed with all the responses from SAE employees defending this education group on many topics, not one has denied the illegal software pirating they were caught commiting in Germany.

    f true it’s quite shocking. Is there one SAE employee who will deny it and sign their name to it?

      1. That’s not a denial now is it. Still not one denial from SAE on this matter. I guess BSA and German police are making it all up?

        This is a very serious crime. I can’t imagine if it’s true what other criminal activity is intentionally being committed? One doesn’t accidentally plan a widespread pirating scam.

  24. Definitions – Organized crime:

    Many organized crime operations have substantial legitimate businesses, such as licensed gambling houses, building construction companies, trash hauling services, or dock loading enterprises or post secondary-educational institutions. These front companies enable these criminal organizations to launder their income from illegal activities. As well, the front companies provide plausible cover for illegal activities such as drug trafficking, smuggling, and prostitution. Tattoo parlors are often used as fronts for outlaw motorcycle clubs

    Where brothels are illegal, criminal organizations set up front companies providing services such as a “massage parlor” or “sauna” or “post-secondary educational institutions”, up to the point that “massage parlor” or “sauna” is thought as a synonym of brothel in these countries.

  25. First of all your talking about a situation that took place five years ago. If you had been keeping up with your perceived arch enemy you would know that Misner no longer pyrenees SAE. All that aside, I went to SAE New York ac/dc got a great education. I know have a great career in LA in post production. are gonna hate. Stop the trolling, your embarrassing yourself.

  26. – I see, so if you are the type of individual(s) who intentionally commits criminal fraud it’s okay after five years. Normal, lawful people and authorities would disagree.
    – Certainly not perceived as an arch enemy, no need to be so dramatic, facts are facts.
    – I’m happy alumni is doing well in post production but I don’t see what that has to do with the facts.
    – There’s nothing embarrassing about reporting facts. I don’t know of anyone who thinks this type of illegal activity is alright.
    – As far as Misner, he said himself the only thing that’s changing is who owns SAE, not who manages it. He said if isn’t broke, don’t fix it and that SAE management will still be running it like before.
    – Mr. Rod Jones on the other hand, appears to be an intelligent, hard-working man who earned what he has the old fashioned way, honestly.
    – Lastly, just think some full disclosure was in order for the innocents out there who can’t afford to lose their money.

  27. Innocents should do their research before spending their money. I suspect that you are not whom you say you are. I have met many alumni who where perfectly happy with their experience at SAE. This blog you posted is a hack job with no references to back any of this up. I am not saying that none of it happend. But It’s fairly toothless without any documentation. I mean, any unmedicated lunatic can post on a blog and make up what ever they like. This whole thing seems like some bitter alumni who couldn’t make it through the program and wont take responsibility for their own short comings. It’s seems pretty desperate. I would agree with the person who posted prior… you do seem to perceive SAE as if it where some sort of arch enemy. I say keep it up… it’s pretty damn funny. Messing with people like you is fun. It’s really easy to get you all wound up. As you read this your heart rate is probably speeding up, your palms are getting sweaty. You are already putting together the first sentence of your response… your gonna try and make us all see the light. Trolls are ALL the SAME. So easy to fluster. Your like an angry dog with no teeth. You dont have the strength to not respond to this… you know you want to. You cant resist.

  28. “One who will go on the record is John Burnett, who helped Misner start his school. Burnett is furious that Misner is lauded in the media. He believes Misner has made his money through exploitation of students. He doubts Misner’s claims about having a fortune or about his student numbers”.

    “In his book ‘The Misner factor’ Tom proudly boasts about how dishonesty enabled him to become wealthy. Fear associated with criminal behaviour does not exist in Tom” – John Lenard Burnett

    1. How about I just dont care. So Misner was a scumbag. BFD. I got a great education from SAENY and have no complaints. Misner no longer runs the show. The past is the past time to move on. Bigger fish to fry, more important issues in the world to be upset about.

  29. Hi, im looking to go study in Australia to be more specific the SAE institute in Melbourne. The price’s and the rest is not a problem for me.. i just wan to find out if anyone who studied over there got the eduaction the needed. Im looking for a audio production course and want to find out EVERYTHING about it. Since i live in Europe its pretty hard for me to go for an open day over there and ive seen that a lot of people talking about schools in Europe, how about the studies in Australia? Let me know:) i want to know EVERYTHING! from good teachers to the studios, if you can book the studios as you want and so on. Thanks in advance!!

  30. Elliot,
    I cant speak for any school but the one in NYC, but I can tell you that for me it was well worth it. It’s a really tough program, not for the weak. You will have to fight for studio time on occasion. Then again, when ever my class had a problem getting bookings I could talk to the admin and they would help us get what we need.
    They told me at their open house that if you work hard as a student that they would work hard to help you out. It was true of the school I went to.

  31. JB,
    Thanks for the answer! After being in this industry fora couple of years i know how hard it is, that struggle and hard work pays off! But at the end of the day a school/course is what you make it and not the whole school, its all depends on each different individual how you study and so on.. Thats why i want to study so that i can be more professional and learn exactly everything that i need to know and i want to know if the school in melbourne are capable of doing that. I have to get in contact with someone who studied over there to know how it was with the teachers knowledge of the industry..

  32. Wow, this thread is quite active. Have been an SAE student since Oct. ’11. Kinda regretting my decisions.. hope it gets a tad better nearing the second half of the full time course, but I doubt it.

  33. SAE is not at all worth it.

    I studied in SAE Amman, took on the Animation curriculum which was a big joke. There is absolutely not an ounce of theory taught – something I believe is vital in animation. Half-way through the professional diploma program, I have seen teachers that proved themselves incompetent, in that some had spent as long as 15+ minutes trying to figure out how to do something they should know and that occurred in nearly every lecture.

    The BA program was a waste of my time and money, too. It is only six months long and teaches you nothing pertaining to your studies. The instructor we had was completely incompetent, too: He pretty much did nothing but read off power point slides. The program is nothing more than a means to grant one a piece of paper that says they have studied in this college. I do not believe this is how you go on about getting a BsC or a BFA degree – I have never heard of a program that earns you a bachelors degree in just six months. Something’s questionable about that.

    In addition to the aforementioned, I have to say the academic department have proven themselves to be incompetent – Prior to the start of the BA program, they had promised they would get us a lecturer from Middlesex University and had us wait a full 2 months only to get us a random local guy who did nothing more than read off slides.

    As an artist, I feel that I have learnt nothing from this college and it had not helped me improve any. I have acquired more knowledge and improvement on my own and through the internet than through this con-institute. I really regret going there and spending a fairly hefty amount of money.

    Long story short, I do not know if the same goes for the audio engineering field, but I myself would not recommend SAE to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the artistic fields (i.e Animation, Film Making, Graphic Design). You’re better off attending other institutes or learning on your own.

    1. I agree. I’m still in it (Audio Engineering). I do plan on finishing the diploma part, because it still is money I paid, at least I’ll have something in my hands in the end. Although, it wouldn’t be something I would be proud of to hold, not even the BA, which I totally am not planning to do anymore. There is no single tutor a real professor that could support you through the whole year, in my opinion having a Bachelor would mean you would be competent to at least show some academic skills and way of thinking, right? You learn NONE of that in SAE. Just go to a real college/university!

      1. You raise a very good point there in your last bits of your post, yeah.

        The lectures throughout the BA program, which concern business matters and psychology (critical thinking and such) are all so far obsolete, outdated material you could read off the internet in mere hours. I have taken plenty business courses before that were a thousand times more valuable and helpful than any of this.

        They do not teach you how to do any of it, either – it’s pretty much a mumble jumble of “this is what critical thinking and so and so is”. Definitions and iteration of historical points is not going to help a student apply these in their career/future life. Same thing pretty much goes for the assignments, which hardly hold any proper practical value.

        So much for ‘practical creative media’, my ass.

  34. I wanna do web design and development in berlin sae.
    is it safe ?
    If not that college any other college in berlin plz

    1. Hey dude, i wanna try Sound Engeneering course in Berlin SAE, going to Berlin on apr. 1st, i’m also interested in it and would like to see some comments, we can visit it together on Tag der offenen Tür and know more about all this stuff, just let me know if you would like to.


        1. I’d strongly advise NOT going to SAE as a substitution for going to college.. you will be highly dissappointed if you do so. For I know, I am. Everything they teach you at SAE can be learned via selfstudy, and sometimes, it’s just as simple as reading the manual of your favorite media software. They also don’t even go in-depth on subjects, they say “you can read a book about it” do it on your own. But honestly, some teacher’s don’t even know the in-depth matter of the subjects they discuss. In college you probably learn alot more about web-design, and IT in general on A REAL academic level, than you ever will at SAE.

          In college though you will probably not be “making” as much websites as you will at SAE, but in the end, you will get much more in return, in terms of IT knowledge, if you go to a real college.

          Unless you want to do something alot more easier and ‘scratch the surface’ of subjects regarding to web-design ONLY, and skip everything else IT, and get a year of “more practical” experience in web-design (which mainly is going to be your own effort, in reading the manual and things alike, than of things you will learn from them) … then sure you could go to SAE.

          But in the end, having gone to college, would have been more worthwhile, and alot cheaper.
          It’s your choice, this is just how I’ve experienced SAE so far… (Audio Engineering)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *