Interested in pursuing online training courses – but aren’t sure where to start?
If your potential career plans include work in business-related topics, then our review of Shaw Academy should be helpful to you in finding the right classes to help you build your skills.
Shaw Academy is one of the many online learning platforms out there, allowing you to improve your skills in business-related topics like digital marketing and web development without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home.
While most of the classes on Shaw Academy center around the business niche, there’s a wide variety of online courses you can pursue here – these cover everything from health and fitness to sports nutrition, social media marketing to programming.
Is Shaw Academy right for you? In our comprehensive Shaw Academy review, we will tell you everything you need to know.
What is Shaw Academy?
Founded in 2013, Shaw Academy is the brainchild of James Egan and Adrian Murphy. This online learning platform has seen a rapid explosion in its popularity since 2020, primarily due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with many other offices around the world (such as in Bangalore, India).
Shaw Academy classes are designed for busy learners who need a flexible study environment. The vast majority of classes on this platform are scheduled hourly rather than offered live so that you can pick a class time that works for you, reschedule if life gets in the way, or watch replays of live videos later on.
Courses on Shaw Academy are recognized all over the world, including in countries like the United States and Australia. You will be able to tap into a network of well-informed professionals who are experts in their respective topics. All courses conform to the highest learning standards and benchmarks and each course is carefully reviewed to make sure it meets expected standards.
Unlike many other online learning platforms in which you’ll take classes that can literally be taught by anyone, courses on Shaw Academy are constantly and consistently vetted to make sure you get reliable results. You’ll be able to expand your skills and knowledge in a wide variety of areas.
Who is Shaw Academy For?
Shaw Academy is an online education institute that offers interactive classes so you can learn at your own pace. Most courses last anywhere from 12 hours to six months, with everything offered entirely online. It’s the perfect way to learn if you are a busy working adult or just want to get ahead in your career by taking a class here or there.
You can take classes in a variety of categories, such as:
- Photography: video editing and production, iPhone and Android production, Adobe lightroom, wedding photography, online photoshop
- Marketing: digital marketing, social media marketing, creative writing, SEO & digital marketing, blogging, content marketing & vlogging, viral marketing
- Design: graphic design, fashion design, interior design, online photoshop, web design, budget graphic design
- Business and Analytics: Excel, leadership and management, project management courses, data analytics, bookkeeping and accounting, sales and business development, how to start a business, organizational psychology
- Finance: financial trading an investment, gold trading, commodities trading, how to trade stocks, property investment, shares trading, cryptocurrency, financial planning
- Health and Wellness: personal trainer, early childhood development, coaching, alternative therapies, mindfulness and meditation, meal planning & food science, sports nutrition, human nutrition
- Technology: web design, coding & computer science, web development, advanced Microsoft Excel, computer science, data analytics, game development, database development
- Arts and Hobbies: crystal healing, floral design, acting and theatre, wine appreciation, dog care, grooming & nutrition, knitting, cooking and baking, painting
- Beauty: beauty therapy, makeup, nails, and beauty, image consultancy
- Music: practical guitar, music theory, sound engineering
- Language: English and IELTS readiness
As you can see, the list of potential online classes you can take on Shaw Academy is extensive! Chances are, if it’s something you’re interested in learning more about, you’ll be able to find it on Shaw Academy.
How Does Shaw Academy Work?
Shaw Academy offers courses ranging from health and wellness topics like sports nutrition to business-related topics like social media marketing and web development.
Each course varies in terms of its content, but most are delivered with recordings of live presentations. You can log on to the platform’s online portal to complete your assignments, engage with online review modules, take exams, replay lectures, and more.
While you take your courses, you will be supported by both technical and educational support teams.
To start, you’ll create your unique set of login details at registration. Your username is your email and you will be prompted to create a password of your own choosing. Then, to login, you will simply go to the Shaw Academy homepage and click the login button at the top right-hand corner. Then, you’ll be able to enter in your unique details and view the Member’s area, which will display information for any courses you are enrolled in as well as your unique profile settings.
Courses are offered via interactive webinars that are scheduled twice a week. You will receive an email reminder and you can join the lesson at any time. If you miss a webinar, you can view it, pre-recorded, in the Membres Area. You can access these for as long as you are subscribed so you can complete your courses at your own pace.
There are occasional live modules, too. For these, you’ll be invited to attend ten live webinar-like lessons, each of which is an hour long and scheduled at various times throughout the week. You will be notified over email to attend the live webinar, during which you will be able to interact with instructors and students just like you were in a regular classroom.
Can’t attend the webinar at the predetermined time? That’s okay! You can view the prerecorded lessons later, logging in up to a month later, for as many times as you’d like. You will also be required to pass a final exam.
Features and Functionality
Here are some of the main features of Shaw Academy.
The live course modules are delivered via an interactive webinar format at scheduled times. These are typically held twice a week and you can join only at the scheduled times. You can also watch a module that has been recorded for your convenience later on.
All foundation courses run twice a week at 7 pm (UK time), typically for four weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays.
It can be a bit confusing to get a handle on the timing of these foundation courses, especially if you don’t live in the United Kingdom. Fortunately, you’ll receive an email reminder in your local time to help you avoid confusion. It’s important to always check the time zone before you start the class, though.
Most foundation courses are an hour in duration with a bonus question and answer session to wrap up every lesson. This question and answer session is lengthy, generally lasting for around fifteen or twenty minutes, but they can be extremely beneficial to help you get more out of your classes.
Advanced courses last longer than foundation courses, typically running for 12 weeks and including 24 hours of coursework. These include practical and theoretical elements.
With Shaw Academy, you’ll find one of the most interactive learning environments around – it blows its competitors out of the water in this regard.
You’ll be able to complete weekly assignments that will test your understanding of the content. These generally take place after every second lesson and are optional. You do not have to complete them in order to obtain a diploma.
Most assignments are in the form of a multiple-choice questionnaire, with an End of Module Assignment available at the end of each module, too.
If you complete all four module assignments and the full course, you will receive an electronic diploma. You can also purchase a hard copy of your diploma if you choose, too.
With Shaw Academy, you can take courses in as many topics as you’d like. Unlike other platforms that either require you to pay per course or have a set number of online classes you can take, Shaw Academy does not do this. You can learn to your heart’s content!
Vouchers and Discounts
In addition to the free trial program touted by Shaw Academy, this platform also has vouchers and discounts available periodically.
To redeem a voucher, you’ll just have to login and then click the “trying to register or redeem a voucher” link.
Shaw Academy Pricing Model
Ready to start learning on Shaw Academy? The pricing on here varies, especially when you consider that various special discounts are available from time to time. Often, you’ll be prompted to participate in a special, one-time offer if you happen to leave the sign-up page during registration. This is merely a method of making sure users don’t bounce away before providing credit card details, but this “special offer” can save you about $28.
To register for this online learning platform, you will need to provide a contact phone number and an email address. While that seems simple and straightforward enough, in order to take a class, you will need to provide credit card information. While the first 28 days will serve as a free trial period, after this time your credit card will be charged.
To use Shaw Academy, you will need to pay about $69.99.
Again, the first four weeks of classes on Shaw Academy are free. This will help you figure out whether this online learning platform is right for you. After that time, you can continue your membership by paying the same monthly fee cited above or you can cancel your membership.
Shaw Academy customer support is mixed. Some users have reported that they have difficulties viewing lesson recordings or streaming webinars. While this is often just an issue with the web browser that can be resolved by trying to load the video on different browsers (for example, trying Safari if you were using Chrome), other users find that there is no good solution to this issue.
Many reach out to Shaw Academy customer support and aren’t the happiest with the results – there are quite a few users who claim that the support team is unresponsive and not helpful at fixing basic issues.
Others argue that customer service is as helpful as can be, often addressing issues with technical and billing problems by offering additional months of free membership.
In any event, if you have any issues with Shaw Academy, you can contact the Shaw Academy customer support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. In most cases, you will be able to work with a live person to resolve your issues.
The Advantages (Pros) of Shaw Academy
Here are some of the biggest benefits of choosing Shaw Academy for your online education needs.
High-Quality Training Programs
Shaw Academy offers students some of the best quality courses, all broken down into easily digestible chunks. You’ll find that the courses offered on this platform are clear and concise, allowing you to learn in an interactive and practical way.
All of the course modules are broken down into small, manageable segments so that you won’t feel overwhelmed by all of the information at once. Plus, you can choose the dates you want to attend live classes, allowing it to work better with your classes.
Shaw Academy Accreditation
Shaw Academy is unique among other online course platforms due to its triple accreditation. It is accredited with CPD, IAO, and ICSOC, meaning all courses here are formally certified with diplomas bearing appropriate logos and badges for accreditation.
Although Shaw Academy courses are not credit-bearing, meaning you likely won’t be able to transfer credits into a college for university credit, they do hold significant weight with employees. All content in your courses can be externally validated and is recognized by global professional bodies.
Upon completing your courses, your credentials will be recognized by CPD (Continued Professional Development) to ensure that your academic and practical qualifications do not become outdated but instead remain relevant.
They are also accredited with the International Accreditation Organization, which ensures that the course meets certain standards regarding quality. Each course is also accredited with the International Council of Specialized Online Certifications, an organization that is well-established in the education industry and specializes in enrichment learning and micro-credentialing.
Free Trial Program
You will see your fair share of complaints about the Shaw Academy free trial program – something we will discuss in more detail below. However, it is still important to not overlook the fact that there is a free trial program at all – this is something that not all online learning platforms provide.
The Disadvantages (Cons) of Shaw Academy
Of course, there are some disadvantages to this platform. After reading numerous student reviews, here are some of the biggest complaints we found.
Can’t Download Recordings
Although you can log in to Shaw Academy and view courses that you have already paid for, you can’t download the recordings. YOu can watch on any device, like a computer, iPad, smartphone, or tablet and you can watch them as many times as you’d like. However, lesson recordings can only be streamed with an Internet connection so there is not an option for offline viewing.
This was one of the most concerning issues we saw surrounding Shaw Academy. The platform was flagged by TrustPilot in 2020 for inviting customers and past students to leave reviews in a biased, misleading way. They invited only customers who were happy with the website’s services to leave reviews and asked those who left negative reviews to either delete or change them.
That’s upsetting, especially when you’re working hard to find an online learning platform that will meet your needs. If you’re looking for reliable reviews of this platform, you may want to turn to an unbiased source that checks the validity of all of its reviews (TrustPilot has gone through and done this, now, so you can read the reviews there with confidence).
Difficult to Cancel Free Trial
It’s not difficult to find a negative Shaw Academy review in which a customer complains about the difficulty involved in trying to cancel a free trial. This is an issue that many individuals have experienced, with lots of customers saying that the Academy was taking unauthorized payments from their account.
There are some complaints about the Shaw Academy pricing system, too. Although this is far from being the most expensive online course platform out there, you do have to dig around a bit to figure out what the prices actually are. It can be difficult to find out how much things cost – and many students complain that they were charged for something they didn’t realize they were agreeing to.
Some Site Compatibility Issues
Some users also report issues with some of the technical glitches on Shaw Academy. They say that the website continuously crashes and causes your browser to run slowly. Although some of this can certainly be due to the type of browser and device you are using, along with many other factors, it’s worth noting if you want a seamless, easy-to-use experience.
Lots of Advertising
Shaw Academy relies on advertising to sell its courses – while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that model, it means that you’re going to be bombarded with information about other courses when you visit the course you are actually trying to take.
You’ll also receive regular emails from the platform, which can fill up your inbox in a hurry.
Shaw Academy Alternatives
When it comes to finding the right e-learning platform, you have plenty of alternatives to Shaw Academy. Although Shaw Academy is one of the best resources out there for students who are interested in taking an unlimited number of courses in a wide range of topics, it admittedly is not the best when it comes to its hazy billing processes and somewhat sub-par customer service.
You will want to consider Skillshare, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning as alternatives to Shaw Academy.
Skillshare is more expensive than Shaw Academy at face value, but when you consider its versatility, it’s worth the price. A premium membership costs $99 per year or $15 per month. This premium membership entitles you to unlimited access to Skillshare’s entire library of more than 20,000 classes.
As an alternative, you can sign up for a free membership that allows you access to around 2000 classes – still not too shabby.
Skillshare specializes in courses in lifestyle and productivity, business, marketing, and creative areas like writing and animation. All courses take a project-based approach to learning. However, they are not accredited by any university.
Udemy is by far one of the most extensive online learning platforms out there, with more than 150,000 classes for users to explore. There is no free trial program, nor are any of the courses accredited.
However, what’s unique about Udemy is that you will pay for each class on a course-by-course basis, paying just for content you want rather than an expensive subscription that you may never take full advantage of. You can take classes in just about any subject, including marketing, productivity, music, teaching, design, and more.
LinkedIn Learning also has a premium subscription option which includes unlimited access to its full library. It costs nearly $300 per year, so it’s definitely not the most affordable option out there. However, you can sign up for a free trial.
The benefit of taking classes with LinkedIn is that the courses are offered at all kil levels, from beginner to advanced, and cover a wide array of subjects. Plus, you can download courses for offline viewing and any credentials or certificates of completion that you earn can be added directly to your LinkedIn profile.
So is Shaw Academy the resource that will help you embark on rewarding new career paths? Perhaps. Only you can be the judge of that. Hopefully, our honest review of Shaw Academy is helpful in giving you the information you need to make an informed decision.
With all kinds of features like Shaw Academy certificate programs, a free trial, and popular courses in just about every in-demand topic you can think of, this online course platform could be the solution you’ve been looking for in the hunt for a better way to learn.
Is the Shaw Academy legit?
Shaw Academy is a legit learning platform. At the end of your course, you will receive a Shaw Academy certificate that is accredited by the NFCE. All courses are also credit-rated and validated through the Edinburgh Napier University.
Although the course content on Shaw Academy has some of the best quality you will find, it’s important to note that this online platform has been called out by agencies like TrustPilot for some fraudulent review activity. Therefore, you should take any positive feedback about this platform with a grain of salt – while there is certainly a lot to love here, it pays to be skeptical.
Are Shaw Academy courses accredited?
Courses from Shaw Academy are recognized around the world in countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, and India. The courses are accredited by the International Accreditation Organization, the International Council of Specialized Online Certifications, and the Continuing Professional Development organization.
Shaw Academy is also on the European Qualifications Framework, meaning that the diploma courses are comparable to 10 credit units that you would achieve through similar certifications, like Diploma of Higher Education, foundation degree, Higher National Diploma, and associate degree.
Is Shaw Academy free?
You can technically register with Shaw Academy for free – all you need is a contact number and an email address. However, the courses are not free. In order to take any class, you must submit your credit card information.
The first 28 days of your membership are considered your free trial period. After this period, your credit card will be automatically charged with the monthly membership free.
How much do Shaw Academy online courses cost?
With Shaw Academy, you will not be paying by course but instead for a complete membership. You will pay nothing for the first 28 days – this is your free trial program. After that, you will pay around $69.99 per month for a membership.
How long do Shaw Academy courses last?
You will have unlimited access to all Shaw Academy courses as long as you maintain your subscription. Foundation courses last about an hour over eight to ten classes while advanced classes are about twice as long.
What kind of certification will I get with Shaw Academy?
With Shaw Academy, you will receive a certificate at the end of each course that is NCFE accredited. These are certified with ten credit units by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.