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.


  1. SAE San Francisco August 19, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Has anyone attended SAE SF? I am enrolled and want to know how their audio engineering program is. Please leave a review of your experience?


  2. HI, I would like to know how is the photography course of SAE institute in Dubai. I am looking to do a short term course.


  3. SAE (Melbourne campus) is extremely unprofessional on so many levels.
    I’m not sure where to start, I’ll start by saying if people are wondering if this course is worth it, (and not just Film Production but I also know people who have done the Audio Course here too,)
    It isn’t worth it, whether you have HECS fees or not, this course is a waste of money, your classes will involve sitting in a classroom for 3 hours with a teacher that will not teach you things but instead talk about your homework for the entire time without teaching you anything, just telling you what you have to do for each assignment. Some of the lecturers are the office ladies, they are very young and VERY unprofessional, they dont know what they are doing most of the time and they giggle and mess around and let students yell out and interrupt them and they encourage it! If you’re over 18 years old you will find this extremely annoying!!
    A few times the classes have involved the teachers getting the students to log onto their facebook infront of the class and write a status on facebook (I kid you not!!) and see who comments on it from part of there friends list. This was some stupid way of them trying to make a point of who tries to get involved in your life! Please keep in mind these are classes are 3,000 dollars a year each! and only once a week. all this money to listen to unprofessional teachers act like teenagers and not teach you a single useful thing. Another time we have had to make a house out of tooth picks! Yes we are asked to do these things in class for both Film and friends have done it in Audio as well. We are paying alot for this school and i can honestly say I have been to every class this Trimester, with an open mind and have not learned anything worth while for film! You are honestly going to get more out of sitting at home on google.
    The Counselor at this school is a young girl probably about 27-30 who is meant to help you out with things such as stress with homework, life at home ect. Well EVERYTHING I have heard about her is that she is extremely hard to talk to, and very immature and doesn’t help out at all! I don’t know how she has this job.

    The lady on the front desk name is Nikki, she stuffed up my partners enrolment about 3 times by ‘losing’ paper work and then forgetting to call him back when he got accepted into the course, he had to call the school the day before school started and lucky he did because she answered the phone and told him “oh you got in!” and told him she had misplaced he’s paperwork and he had to fill things out again.
    To some people this may sound REALLY unprofessional, almost like its made up, but its not and people at this school just get used to this kind of thing happening on a regular basis. That is what this school is like! (or campus, i’m not sure what the other campuses are like)
    We have seen her sitting at the front desk giggling at her computer on a number of occasions and heard the instant message noise you get from facebook when someone talks to you, back and forth. She is also extremely rude and never smiles at students even when you smile at her first.

    There is a person at this school who is disabled and has told me once that she has been at this school for almost two years and is still repeating trimester 1! (A TRIMESTER IS USUALLY COMPLETED IN 3 MONTHS!) This is a clear example of them taking money off people, letting someone with an extreme disability come to this school and not be able to pass 1 trimester, she also told me they haven’t done anything to help her!!
    All this school cares about is taking money off people.


  4. There is a 50 year old student at SAE melbourne who stinks out the entire common room, one time she got up from a couch in the student lounge and the seat was soaked. me and my friends assumed (or hoped) that she had spilt her drink or something and just left it there. but the other night me and some other students saw her running out of a classroom holding the back of her pants peeing herself, yes peeing herself all over the corridor carpet. The worst part is this lady has been at SAE for 2 years, so i dont believe we are the first people to complain to the staff about the smell and the pee she leaves everywhere, and they don’t even clean it? So disgusting.


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