The Shaw Academy Review – Why I Didn’t Join

The Shaw Academy Review

Online education is becoming more and more available with each passing year. Many platforms offer courses in just about anything imaginable, which offers flexibility for students wanting to learn on their own schedule.

For those wanting to learn about online marketing, such as digital, content, social media, etc., there are many options online.

One such platform is called Shaw Academy, and I’d like to give you the Shaw Academy review of my research and findings.

When hearing about this platform, things sounded interesting as they offered diplomas in various industries.

But significant research found some concerning facts that need to be considered.

If you are here and reading this recently updated review, I hope to show you all the Shaw Academy provides, as well as pointing out things for you to consider before committing to a membership.

And if you’re wondering how I earn an online income, this is where I learned all about online marketing.

Shaw Academy Review rating

 

My WA landing page

 

What Is Shaw Academy?

the shaw academy reviews

James Egan and Adrian Murphy founded this online education platform in 2013 and is based in Dublin Ireland, Bangalore India, and London England.

According to Wikipedia, they have over 200 employees and serve a worldwide array of students. By the end of 2016, they had taught over 1.8 million students.

Shaw Academy ran into financial difficulties in January 2019, but have apparently dealt with the issue in April 2019.

The advanced courses are said to be officially accredited and recognized globally. Most courses offer the diploma and accreditation.

They say that all their courses are delivered live with access to recordings if you missed the live presentation.

They also claim to have 24/7 student support for all their webinars, in order to answer all questions. I only say “claim” because I’ve found some conflicting reports… but we’ll look at this further on, OK?

 

The Courses

Their current list of courses is set up as eight 1-hour lessons each.  This is a newly designed course structure and I’ve upgraded this review accordingly.

According to Shaw…

“All our courses are delivered via interactive webinars at scheduled times, twice weekly. You will receive email reminders prior to the lesson and times will be in your local time. You can join the webinars only at the scheduled times. You can join via links in the reminder emails or via your course Member area.”

The following is a list of categories offered, with most categories offering several choices.  Some of the courses overlap into other categories…

Photography

  • Adobe Lightroom Training Course
  • Wedding Photography Course
  • Complete Photoshop Training: Beginner to Advanced
  • Professional Photography Course
  • Video Editing and Production Course
  • Phone Photography: Take Pro Photos on iPhone & Android

Marketing

  • Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing
  • Become a Social Media Marketing Specialist
  • Creative Writing: How to Write for Publication
  • SEO & Digital Marketing Fundamentals
  • Blogging, Content Marketing & Vlogging 101
  • Viral Marketing: How to Create Share Worthy Content

Design

  • Online Photoshop Course
  • Adobe Illustrator Essentials Training
  • Fashion Design: How to Build a Fashion Label
  • Professional Diploma in Interior Design
  • Web Design: HTML, CSS, JS & Bootstrap Fundamentals
  • Low Budget Graphic Design: Essential Tools & Techniques
  • Online Graphic Design Course

Business

  • Big Data and Data Analytics Training Course
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel Training Course
  • Small Business Bookkeeping & Accounting Diploma
  • Entrepreneurship Fundamentals: How to Start a Successful Business
  • Leadership & Management: Learn to Lead, Motivate and Inspire
  • Project Management Foundations & Methodologies
  • Sales & Business Development Training Program

Finance

  • Commodities Trading: Master the Supply and Demand Market
  • Learn How to Read and Trade Gold
  • Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Beginner Trading Course
  • Personal Finance & Household Budgeting Course
  • How to Invest in Company Shares
  • How to Trade Stocks: Learn to Succeed With Stock Trading
  • Financial Trading & Investment for Beginners

Health & Wellness

  • Personal Trainer Certification
  • Meal Planning & Food Science: How to Eat Well on a Budget
  • Advanced Diploma in Human Nutrition
  • Mindfulness & Meditation For Beginners
  • Cooking and Baking Essentials: Complete Foundation Course
  • Sports Nutrition Certification: How to Fuel for Optimal Performance

Technology 

  • Learn Project Management Online
  • Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Beginner Trading Course
  • Graphic Design Course
  • Complete Photoshop Training: Beginner to Advanced
  • Coding & Computer Science for Beginners
  • Big Data and Data Analytics Training Course
  • Mobile App Development: Build & Publish Apps From Scratch
  • Microsoft Excel Advanced Training
  • Web Development: Become a Full Stack Web Developer
  • Scratch Coding For Kids
  • Web Design: HTML, CSS, JS & Bootstrap Fundamentals

Beauty

  • Makeup, Nails & Beauty Course
  • Professional Diploma in Beauty Therapy

Music

  • Online Guitar Lessons
  • Music Theory Online

Language

  • Learn English for Business, Telephone & Email

     

The Prices

You can register with Shaw Academy for free.  All you need is your email address and a contact number.

But in order to take any classes, you must submit your credit card information.  The first 28 days of any course is your free-trial period.  After that, they will automatically charge your credit card their monthly membership fee.

  • $69.99 CAD per month – this would be my monthly cost of membership.  Your cost will be dependant on where you live in the world…
  • $34.99 CAD discount for 1st month – If you attempt to leave the page, you’ll be presented with a pop-up offering your first paid month at a discount.  Then it will revert to $69.99 CAD per month.

If you’re truly interested, take this offer to save you some money!

There are additional resources if you choose to pay for them:

  • Module 1 Toolkit – $49.99 CAD
  • Ecertificate (Preorder) – $49.99 CAD
  • Hard copy diploma (Preorder) – $99.99 CAD

Please be aware that these are 1-click purchases.  So if you click on the link, you’ll be immediately charged for your purchase.

With the changes to their website, I now couldn’t find any information on their diploma costs.  I have, though, read some disturbing comments on Quora about dissatisfied students…

shaw academy online courses may not be diploma courses

Please note, that all membership plans will continue to be billed monthly unless you cancel prior to the billing cycle. This also applies if you’re only taking one course. If you don’t cancel on time, that course cost will increase with each monthly charge.

There seem to be a few expired offers online, for lifetime memberships, on different coupon sites.  That might be worth looking into if you are interested.  There is one on StackSocial at the moment, for $99 US, which is set to expire Sept. 19, 2018.  It may extend…

I haven’t seen any current or valid discount offers from Shaw Academy.  They’ve had them in the past, so it’s always good to search for a coupon before taking a course.

 

The Certifications

This is what’s written in Shaw’s Faqs:

“The Shaw Academy Professional Higher Diploma

  • EQF Level 5 Equivalent – will change even more students’ lives and is directly comparable across the globe from both an academic, professional and vocational perspective.
  • EQF Level 5 is the equivalent to an Associate Degree (USA), AQF Level Six (Australia), NQF Level Six (South Africa) & QQF Level Eight (Canada).”

So is this true?  I’m not sure. According to a reviewer who posted his opinion on Quora in February 2019, when someone asked about their “Master’s certification” sounds too good to be true…

shaw academy photography hard to cancel

I would highly recommend that you ask your school or place of business if these certification levels are recognized before taking any classes.

If they are for your personal use, then I suppose it always looks good hanging on a wall, lol!

Notice, he also discusses the difficulties of trying to “unsubscribe” to your membership!

 

 

Who Is This Platform For?

shaw academy reddit has many complaints

Shaw Academy is available to anyone who wants to take a course for accreditation, most likely to improve their resumes for a job promotion. Though designed for European qualifications, they say the diploma courses are recognized all over the world.

It’s always worthwhile to continue in your professional development, and some people might enjoy taking these courses for their own personal knowledge.

This online education platform is similar in structure to other platforms, such as:

  1. Lynda.com
  2. Udemy.com – please read my Udemy review
  3. Coursera.org

Online courses offer more flexibility than offline education. Most offline education requires classroom structure at specified times, which requires you to attend in order to be graded.

If you work, you must take time off to complete your course. With online education, most courses are available at your leisure and won’t interfere with your work schedule.

Shaw claims to offer a unique teaching style that most other platforms don’t.  They say they offer live broadcasts by their educators.

This is a big advantage when you don’t understand something, and stop to ask a question.

They also claim to have a support team handy throughout the broadcast, to make sure all questions are answered in real-time.

To have this support though, you will have to attend the scheduled twice-weekly webinars.  If you can’t attend the appropriate time schedule, they have recorded sessions that you can access at any time.

The courses used to be offered in seven different international languages, but I can no longer find that information on their website… 

Now even though this all sounds amazing, please be aware that I’ve found considerable negative reviews online about Shaw Academy.  I would recommend you do your research before seriously considering signing on for any of their courses!

 

 

How Does It Work?

When you access their website, you’ll want to browse through the course catalogue and choose the course you’d like to take.

To access the courses, you need to sign up for the free membership. You will have to submit your credit card information.

They say you get your first 28 days for free but then will immediately start charging your card after 28 days.

shaw academy sign in requires credit card

Because you’re required to submit your credit card information, if you wish to cancel, make sure you do so well before your 28 days are up.

Unfortunately, according to Walter’s review in the image above, this might be difficult to do.

You are then given a choice from six courses to choose from for the “free” module #1. You have a variety of weeknight combinations to choose from, and times from 9 am to 10 pm.

Their previous structure offered you a choice from choosing certain courses you could take and get the 28-day free trial.

But now, any course you choose comes with a 28-day free trial before being charged your monthly membership fee.

Finally, you are asked to enter your payment information.

You have a choice of credit card or PayPal. Personally, I would always choose PayPal, because as added security, you can have PayPal cancel any future withdrawals if you choose to cancel.

That way your credit card won’t be deducted.

You are clearly given a date to cancel by and are told you’ll get “reminder” emails.  If this is true, why are there so many complaints from people not being able to cancel?

shaw academy app hard to get out of

This is the most current review I found on Quora.  I’m writing this updated review just 15 hours after she posted her complaint.

With any course you initially choose, you will have access to only that course for 28 days. And you will only access each new lesson as they are scheduled, two per week over four weeks. At the end of the 30 days, you will have the option to cancel or continue paying as a member, at which point you can access all the courses.

It’s a little different for you now that all courses give you a free 30-day trial.  If you can manage to finish the course in 4 weeks, and successfully cancel your membership, then you have essentially gotten your course for free.

Beware of additional costs within each course though, like the “toolkit” and if you want your certification.

shaw academy contact is very poor

Below is a bonus video I found on their Youtube channel  This will give you an example of what the training videos are like within the courses.

Each course has both theory and practical applications. These are included, but not your final assignment to earn your diploma. This comes at an additional cost. Even more, if you want a hard copy of your diploma.

Previous students have claimed that they would have considered joining if all the extra costs didn’t add up so much. You must pay for your final assignments and your diplomas.

Here is an example of a final examination in Digital Marketing, dated April 24, 2017.  I’m sure they’ve all been redone and upgraded by now.

 

 

Pros

  • 30-day free trial
  • Monthly membership costs give you access to all the courses
  • Live sessions are available at scheduled times
  • Recordings are available 24/7 if you miss the live training

 

Cons

  • The free trial still requires credit card submission
  • Members have been frustrated when trying to “unsubscribe”
  • Credit cards are being charged regardless of unsubscribing
  • Extra costs – toolkit, a final assignment, diplomas
  • Information only. No tools to apply what you’ve learned.

 

 

Thoughts And Recommendations

I'd rather recommend wealthy affiliate

I believe anytime you can better yourself with online education, it’s a good thing. The only problem is finding a platform you can trust.

As we’ve seen above, Shaw Academy is another one of those companies that are not completely upfront about their costs. You are led to believe that you will be receiving your diploma for a completed course at the price listed on the website.

It’s not until you’ve paid that you find out there are additional costs for your toolkit, the final examination and diploma itself.

And what about phoning and texting? That just doesn’t seem right to me. I would think that encouraging you to sign up for their yearly membership on the platform itself is one thing. But using your phone number to text and call you to persuade you to sign up is unethical in my books.

I haven’t seen any recent complaints about the phoning.  It could be because they now only offer a month to month membership plan…

Online Reviews

The number of negative reviews was alarming when I started researching this platform. There are not a lot of practical Shaw Academy reviews out there. The positive ones are definitely affiliates of the platform, so only point out the positives.

The remaining reviews I found consisted of complaint type forums like the BBB (Better Business Bureau), on Quora, and other online forums.

What I also found disturbing were the comments by former employees. On the website Glassdoor.ie, the employees gave the Shaw academy some pretty dismal reviews. It makes you wonder what goes on there, and how they manage their employees, lol.

The positive reviews were mainly about the course material itself, praising the education, the structure, and the instructors. So that’s encouraging, yet confusing.

The majority of Shaw Academy complaints seem to be with billing, service, or shipping issues. Many students were frustrated when being charged even after cancelling. Many emails and phone calls are never returned, and hard copy diplomas never arriving.

Recorded Webinars

Another valid concern is pre-recorded webinars.  Many of the recordings were done in 2016.

Depending on the course you choose, this is a problem.

Take social media, for example.  The way you use social media for any type of advertising or promotion changes rapidly.  What worked in 2016 will not work today.  This type of training needs to be continually upgraded.

I am always careful to take each “scam” comment with a grain of salt, but there are just too many.  Below is a screenshot of a complaint from Zara on the website “Online Study Australia“.

online training academy reviews are very negative

 

So is Shaw Academy a scam?   No.

Would I recommend them?   A cautious yes.

I believe their platform can offer you legitimate training, but you should also beware of the number of negative reviews. Personally, it’s all the negative reviews holding me back.

The important question you need to ask yourself is…

“Am I doing this to supplement my resume or my income?

If it’s for your resume, and you need a diploma for proof, then OK. But if it’s to supplement your income, can I offer you a better recommendation?

Starting an online affiliate marketing business has given me so many income opportunities.  And I’d love for you to come and see where I run my successful business.

This platform not only offers excellent training but for a lower cost than Shaw Academy, you’ll also get:

  • all the tools required to set up your own website
  • a keyword research tool for your best chances at successfully ranking on Google & Youtube
  • and “world-class” support to actually start your own online business.

No surprise upsells or additional costs.  And the certification courses are continually updated.

You can learn at your own pace, and start earning a supplemental income that could turn full time if you want it to.

The best part is you can start for free. With no credit card needed!

When you see the value of everything available, you can join and get your first month for only $19.  Isn’t that crazy??

Click on the picture below to join, and I will personally meet you on the inside. I promise to be your coach for as long as you need me.

my wealthy affiliate landing pic

Have you taken any online courses before? Who did you choose, and why? I’d love to hear from you.

If you have any comments or questions, please ask me below and I’ll get right back to you.

Your friend,

Suzanne