Upskillist (Shaw Academy) Review

Want to learn coding, and marketing, or understand the basics of photography? Today there are many options of how to get such skills online and your task is to find the best source to get the information. One of the options is Upskillist, aka Shaw Academy. 

The company went through a rebranding recently after dozens of complaints from students. Is today Upskillist a good provider of online courses? There are a lot of questions to answer, so let’s dive into the Upskillist review.

6Expert Score
Not the best but there are good courses

The photography course is worth it, the marketing course is okay, but tech courses are very basic

  • Good courses photography and marketing courses
  • First month is free, so you can finish shorter courses at no cost
  • Some courses do not have all content yet
  • Classes are pre-recorded with no option to pause, rewind, skip etc.
  • The price is on the high side
  • The company had a bad reputation before the rebranding

Best Upskillist Alternatives

Best alternative to learning Marketing
Best for Data Analysis

What is Upskillist?

It is an online platform with over 100 of courses on different subjects, from Marketing to Art. The company started its business in 2012 as Shaw Academy. In 2021 Shaw Academy went through a rebranding and changed its name to Upskillist. Basically, the company doesn’t change the courses list but it changed some of the top executives and launched its Enterprise platform. Moreover, the company changed some of the courses by adding new topics.

One of the main reasons behind such a brand transformation was probably the negative reputation of the company: it received tons of complaints on its cancellation policies and very pushy promotion activities. You can read more here.

Now, Upskillist seems to consider all the mistakes of the previous years.

How Upskillist works

On the website, you can choose a course that you like to complete, and then, you sign up and pay for it. This company has a pay-as-you-go pricing model where a customer is charged each month and gets access to all courses.

Each course has 4 modules but the duration of each varies from 4 to 16 weeks. After enrolling to a course, you will need to attend online classes (2 interactive classes per week at the time you choose) and complete weekly assignments. After the completion of all modules, you will have a final assignment and after passing it, you can get your certificate.

Upskillist courses

The company has a diverse list of topics you can learn. Among them are language learning, marketing, design, technology, and even health wellness. Here are the course categories available on Upskillist.

  • Marketing
  • Business & Analytics
  • Finance
  • Technology
  • Design
  • Arts & Hobbies
  • Photography
  • Language
  • Music
  • Health Wellness
  • Beauty

Upskillist Pricing

The company has only one pricing option when you pay a fixed fee per month and get access to all the content. The cost is $34.99/mo or £49.99.

If you are new, you can start a free 4-week trial before paying for the courses. However, you can do this only after filling in your payment information.

Upskillist photography 

This is the main category of this e-learning provider with the highest number of graduates. It includes such courses, as general Photography course, iPhone & Android Photography, Video Editing And Production, Wedding Photography, Photoshop, and Adobe Lightroom.

The most popular course on Upskillist is a general 16-week course on Photography. It begins with the basics: how to control the camera, what composition, apertures, shutter speeds, etc are. Then, the course proceeds to such topics as phototypes (portraits, landscapes and so on). It also covers editing topics and how to create a portfolio.

Upskillist marketing courses

On the website, you can find courses on digital marketing & SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, and blogging/vlogging.

The most popular one is the Social Media Marketing course. It covers a huge number of topics from creating social media strategy to content creation and reporting. The course consists of 4 modules, from beginner to advanced topics with a total duration of 16 weeks.

Check out also Digital Marketing Specialization by Coursera, the best alternative to this course.

Business & Analytics courses

Under this category, you can find quite diverse courses like Leadership & Management, How To Start A Business, Diploma In Project Management, Data Analytics, Probability & Statistical Analysis, Excel, and some others.

Leadership & Management. This is the most popular course in the Business & Analytics category. It is focused on building soft skills like better communication, team building, strategic thinking, and management during a crisis. The course might be good for people who have just become managers or for those who are not managers but what to improve some communication and planning skills.

Data Analytics Course. This is an 8-week class covering the main topics of working with data. This course includes a brief overview of R as one of the main programming languages for data analysis and Tableau as a widespread tool for data visualization. This course also covers basic statistical concepts like probability, linear and logistic regression as well as hypothesizing and testing. It also includes basic Excel-related topics.

If you’re interested in data analytics, we recommend taking a look at DataCamp as the leader in this niche. Particularly, the one worth considering is Data Analyst with Python.

Upskillist technology courses

This category includes basic and more narrowed-down topics on software development. Here, you can find such courses as Coding & Computer Science, Web Development, Python Programming, Cybersecurity and more.

Web Development. This 8-week basic introductory course covers both front-end and back-end development and is centered around JavaScript and PHP. it also briefly touches databases. At the end of the course, you’ll have a project to practice your skills.

The course is very basic, so if you want to get into Web Development, we recommend Full Stack Web Development on Udacity.

Check out our list of the best web development courses.

Is Upskillist worth it?

Upskillist aka Shaw Academy is an online platform worth considering but it’s far for the leaders. The company offers courses on various subjects but many of them are too general and basic. Moreover, the price is rather high for this quality of courses. However, there are still good courses that get a list of positive feedback–the first one on this list is Photography.


I am a marketer and a coach who loves to share my knowledge with those who are only starting their career path.

Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. Avoid these guys like the plague. They get way more money out of you then advertised through tricky cancellation provisions and hard to understand calls. Wish I’d gone elsewhere, which is a shame because the content is OK

    • Would not let me sign up free without a card even though i had a free class through t mobile without a card.


      Bait and switch much???

      Then i read more and this used to be Shaw Academy….

      It all makes sense. The biggest online

  2. They are scammers 100 percent, they are not professional. I signed up for free trial, they called me and said I have 28 days to try it. They charged me on the very next day 99.99 3 month subscription. I was so shocked. Emailed them demanding return my money, they said that they won’t. Instead they will give me an access for all courses for 36 months. I agreed. But after 3 month paid subscription they closed an access to the courses. They forced me to use these 3 months, I lost my free trial, I have been lied to have free access to the courses. And I emailed them, they simply ignored all my emails. They are scammers, the company is nothing but fraud and headache. Stay away from them!!!

  3. This is a scam, they have been debiting money from my account for the past three months, even without subscription to them. I noticed the transaction on the third month, so I tried requesting for refund but their reply is that they will not refund my money. PLEASE AVOID SHAW ACADEMY!!!

  4. Try to avoid them, Shaw academy is scams, their one month free “Trial” subscription is a trap ,once you subscribe, the system will show you it’s cancelled but it is not, and they will charge your credit card after one month, and when you call them they will say the cancellation didn’t go through, sorry no refund.

    Please Avoid Them, don’ enroll with them

  5. A lady called me today from this company saying that I didn’t complete my registration for Shaw Academy Design course and if I want to finish my registration by phone and I was like WTF? I never registered online with you guys, where did you get my information? This lady kept telling me that I filled out an online registration but I never did that… I hung up and immediately google it just to found out what I suspected… SCAM!!
    Be aware friends!! Do not enroll in here!!

  6. Do NOT sign up for this SCAM! The “classes” are prerecorded and of no substance or value. The make it IMPOSSIBLE to get a refund. They LIE about when they will get back with you and about refunding charges. Total scam. Do not fall for it,

  7. Please do not use this company. THEY ARE NOT LEGIT AND SCAM YOU OUT OF YOUR MONEY!!!

  8. Scam, I received. Message that I got a free course after clicking to view the course boom R399 debited, I sent emails to dispute a month later again , nonsense

  9. Under any circumstances. DO NOT SIGN UP. Read before doing it, there are lots of stories. I found the add on Instagram and I wanted to sign in, but I was suspicious when they asked for the bank account. However I was curious , so I signed up with an inactive account-0 money on it. Then I decided to cancel my subscription and for one month I just kept receiving phone calls from numbers from UK, the Netherlands or even USA to sign up again. Kept refusing and asked them not to bother me. It stopped and after 3-4 I got called again . I really do hope that people will avoid these scammers.

  10. They did the same thing to me. I canceled the $60 membership because it was extremely shady then they take two payments from my account. When I ask for a refund they tell me My accounts active. Which it shouldn’t have been. They deny my refund. One payment was takin out May 25th of $23.10 an another transaction on May 27th of $24.84. I never consented to any one of these transactions.

  11. DO NOT SIGN UP WITH THIS COMPANY. I cancelled my free trial cookery course within 1 hour of signing up when I realised it was unsuitable. I was assured by the company that no money would be taken from my account. This was lies they did take money, promised to refund but now refuse the refund, a complete scam. DO NOT SIGN UP WITH THIS COMPANY

  12. I wholeheartedly agree that Shaw Academy’s pricing model is confusing as well as deceptive. They advertise a free trial period of four weeks after entering your payment information, but be sure to read the fine print – because they do not ultimately honor the four week “free” trial. You WILL end up getting charged for at least the first month and you will NOT get a full refund when they charge you incorrectly.

  13. I am in the middle of asking for a refund. They took money from my PayPal account without me even knowing it. When I signed up with them, I didn’t realise by doing that my PayPal was set to an automatic payment with them. One day Someone from Shaw called me on my phone, the phone line was so poor so the call was very brief. Then when the phone call got hung up, I receive an email right after that, telling me 99 USD was transferred to Shaw Academy. I immediately contacted PayPal and wrote many emails to Shaw for my 99USD back. After a lot of attempts talking to PayPal and to Shaw Academy, I had to just give up. I cannot help thinking that this company Shaw Academy has been set up to con people. It is sad that a company like this took advantage of people wanting to learn, and trick them into their trap. During this pandemic when people looking to gain new skills to survive this hardship, a company like this will take advantage of them.

  14. Before signing with Shaw Academy, Please do your research. Unfortunately, I signed up without reading reviews about them. They took money off my PayPal account without me even knowing it. I have been asking for a refund, but I ended up having to write and read a lot of emails which look like automated emails. Please do stay away from them, don’t even bother to go into the website. Or you are most likely to end up like me. Being cheated.

  15. I registered with Shaw academy for a free 4-week course. Then on their website, a lot of information, offering you courses. I made a mistake in clicking something thinking that it was the free course. It turned out to be an automatic subscription and my credit card was charged. I tried to communicate with them; at first, they were not responding. They finally communicate with me; I explained all that happened and I requested for cancellation and asked for a refund, but they insist on not refunding because they said that in my subscription there is no option for a refund.

    My final thought is that, be careful when you are inside their website. Don’t just click anything, and don’t give your Credit card info. That’s what happened to me, they said they will need the credit card info but will not charge me. But what happened to me, I was charged.

Leave a reply