Want to learn coding, 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 popular online platforms is Shaw Academy.
So, if you are wondering whether this company is a good provider of online courses or if you haven’t heard at all about them, keep reading this Shaw Academy review.
Deceptive canceling membership policy makes it an untrustworthy learning provider.
- Having some good courses (especially on marketing and photography)
- Mobile app
- The membership cancelation process is quite hard
- Classes are pre-recorded with no option to pause, rewind, skip etc.
- No practical exercises to hone your skills or get feedback
- Customer service doesn’t properly respond
What is Shaw Academy?
It is an online company that started its business in 2012. It has headquarters in Dublin and offices in the US, South Africa, and India. Today, the company offers more than 100 courses in 7 languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese).
How Does Shaw Academy work?
On the website, you can choose a course which you like to complete, and then, you sign up and pay for it. This company has a pricing model when a customer buys a monthly subscription and gets access to all courses.
Each course has 4 modules of approximately 4 weeks to finish. 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.
Shaw Academy Courses
The company has a diverse list of topics you can learn. Among them are language learning, marketing, design, technology, and even health wellness.
Shaw Academy Marketing Courses
On the website, you can find courses on digital marketing, creative writing, SEO, and social media marketing, content marketing, and viral marketing.
The most popular one is the Shaw Academy Digital Marketing course with almost 500,000 graduates.
This course covers different online marketing channels like content marketing, SMM, SEO, email marketing, paid advertising, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, and more. It also reveals basic topics like defying the target audience and KPIs, and creating a digital marketing strategy.
What makes this course worth considering, is that they also explain how to do marketing for an eCommerce business which is not so widespread among marketing courses.
The course consists of 4 modules, from beginner to advanced topics with a total duration of 16 weeks.
Shaw Academy 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 under the Business & Analytics category. It is focused on building soft skills like better communication, team building, strategic thinking, management during a crisis.
This 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
Big Data and Data Analytics Training Course
This is a short 4-week class covering the main topics of working with data. This course is 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 covers basic statistical concepts like probability, explains such concepts as linear and logistic regression. It also provides an introduction to R for data cleaning and visualization and Tableau (functions, segmentation, what-if scenarios) to build basic dashboards for visualizing business data; also, it shows how to integrate R and Tableau. It also includes basic Excel-related topics.
Shaw Academy 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 Design, Web Development, Python Programming, React JS, and even Coding For Kids.
Shaw Academy Web Design
This is the most popular course on the platform with over 500,000 graduates. It includes a number of introductory topics and then, it explains such topics as HTML, CSS and mobile-first design principles, working with WordPress. The central part of the course is creating websites with Boostrap.
The duration is 16 weeks while consisting of 4 modules.
Shaw Academy Web Development
This is also a popular course under the Technology category with almost 200,000 graduates.
The course takes 16 weeks to complete.
Shaw Academy 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, Adobe Lightroom, and Online Photoshop.
The central general 16-week course on Photography 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). Finally, it explains how to edit photos and how to create a portfolio.
This course has over 1,500,000 and is the most popular among users of Shaw Academy.
Shaw Academy Pricing
The company has only one pricing option when you pay a fixed fee per month. The cost is $69.99/mo.
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.
Right now, Shaw Academy doesn’t offer any discounts for their subscription.
Shaw Academy Reviews
After some online research on websites like Quora, Reddit, and Trustpilot, you may found tons of negative reviews. The main reason is their cancelation process which is very hard and customers often found that after a 4-week free trial they have been charged without prior notice. There is positive feedback on the content itself but the cancelation issues make using Shaw Academy quite a negative experience.
Here are some of negative Shaw Academy reviews just to back up what has been mentioned above.
“I got scammed by Shaw Academy for two month’s worth of subscription charges I NEVER SIGNED UP FOR and in the process of trying to get my $ back. Flagged the charges as unauthorized with PayPal and emailed them.”
“I had a terrible experience with Shaw Academy. The day after I signed up for the free trial, I checked my bank account and they had made FOUR unauthorized transactions from my bank account. I emailed about the transactions, and the company stated I signed up for the “premium membership” when I only singed up for the trial After three emails with offers from the company (six months free membership, worth “$399″, etc.).”
“The content that they provide seems like it would be of a decent quality and that’s what initially prompted me to investigate further by signing up for the free trial. Having said that, the confusing nature of their subscription structures, the fact that it seems to be designed to trap and trick people into paying for things they didn’t intend to, and the manner in which their customer service team deals with customers, all add up to a fairly unpleasant experience.”
Additionally, you can read this article about Shaw Academy by The Guardian.
Tips How to Sign up for a Free Trial Safely
Since Shaw Academy has some decent content to offer, you still might want to try it at no cost. Thus, here are tips on how to stay safe when signing up for Shaw Academy:
- Use a debit/prepaid card with no money on it (just $1-5 for card verification) when subscribing for a free trial.
- To cancel the subscription, you have to call them (since it can be hard to get to them, try the US number as it seems to accept more calls than the UK one).
- Keep the email with proof of cancellation.
- Upon cancellation, ask them to remove your email address from all marketing lists (they can be really annoying with advertising).
How Good is Shaw Academy?
- They offer good courses visually appealing, clear, and informative, especially on marketing and photography
- Mobile app
- The membership cancelation process is quite hard
- Classes are recorded while you need to book them in advance. Also, there is no option to pause, rewind, skip etc, you have to watch the entire session all at once.
- Courses are not free while they can be claimed so in advertising (and are quite pricey)
- There are no practical exercises to hone your skills or get feedback
- Customer service doesn’t respond to customers properly
Upon completing a Shaw Academy diploma, students will be certified and recognized by three organizations: CPD (continued Professional Development), IAO (The International Accreditation Organisation), and ICSOC (The International Council of Specialised Online Certifications).
Click on “My Profile” -> “Memberships & Payments” -> “Cancel and Pause Membership and Benefits”. Then, you need to follow the On-Screen instructions to finish the cancellation process.
When you reach the final step, make sure to check if there is a number you should call to confirm the cancellation and do that.
It is not a scam as a company provides services for the money paid. However, they have such a subscription model which makes it really hard to cancel membership and get a refund.
You can contact the company via this page.
Is Shaw Academy worth it?
Their courses are of decent quality; however, they have a deceptive canceling membership and refund policy which makes this company not competitive in terms of service offered. There are many e-learning providers which have courses of the same or even better quality and where you would not experience such trouble with canceling a subscription.
Good Shaw Academy Alternatives
- UX Design Fundamentals on FutureLearn
- Web Design for Beginners: Real World Coding in HTML & CSS on Udemy
- Front End Web Development on TreeHouse
- Full Stack Web Development on Udacity
Check out our list of the best web development courses.
Alternatives for Python Programming: DataCamp, Udacity, TreeHouse
- Python Programming on Datacamp
- Introduction to Python Programming on Udacity
- Python Development on Techdegree
Check out our list of the best Python courses.
Alternatives for Data Analytics: Datacamp, Dataquest
Alternatives for Digital Marketing: Coursera, Udemy, FutureLearn
Alternatives for Photography: Udemy, The Great Courses, Masterclass
- Fundamentals of Photography by The Great Courses
- Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography by Udemy
- Photography by Annie Leibovitz on Masterclass