Shaw Academy Review – Is It Higher Education?

Better education comes at a hefty price, but is Shaw Academy legit? Or is it a scam? We will learn the truth in my Shaw Academy review. They claim that they offer higher education for free, where you can also get certifications suitable for your resume or job hunting. But is Shaw Academy legit? Or is it a scam? We will learn the truth about Shaw Academy.

  • Product Name: Shaw Academy
  • Founder: James Egan and Adrian Murphy
  • Product Type: Online Education Platform
  • Price:

$69.99 per month

Plus, hidden charges for tool kits and certificates

  • Best For: Anyone who would like to develop specific skills

Shaw Academy is an eLearning platform that offers courses and certifications in various fields to develop your skills. Once you have completed a class, you have the option to receive a diploma certification. Shaw Academy offers a 4-week free trial after you sign up. But before you do, you need to learn more about this program and decide if it’s worth your money.

  • Ratings: 80/100
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What is Shaw Academy?

Shaw Academy is an online education school that offers a wide range of online certification courses in different fields of study. It was launched by James Egan and Adrian Murphy in 2012 and is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. As of this writing, Shaw Academy has over 100+ courses offered and around 12 million students globally.

Let’s talk a bit about the Shaw Academy’s founders. They are known to have good leadership to have established other companies as well. Adrien Murphy is also the founder of several Precision Services, Fitness Data Science, and Capserv. At the same time, James Egan is also the founder and CEO of the Academy of Financial Trading and a former senior market analyst at Ava Capital Markets.

Shaw Academy’s online courses are arranged in different categories such as:

  • Photography – 7 courses
  • Marketing – 6 courses
  • Design – 9 courses
  • Business and Analytics – 11 courses
  • Finance – 8 courses
  • Health Wellness – 15 courses
  • Technology -18 courses
  • Arts and Hobbies – 14 courses
  • Beauty – 3 courses
  • Music – 3 courses
  • Language – 2 courses

Shaw Academy claims that they update their courses and add new courses from time to time. Some systems fall under multiple categories.

How does the Shaw Academy work?

Shaw Academy works as a subscription-based eLearning platform. New members are offered a 4-week trial when they join. This means you have four weeks of free courses and you can take whichever method you like.

Before you can start taking courses, you have to register with Shaw Academy first. And here are the steps how to write:

  1. Visit their website and click on the Try For Free button.
  2. You need to answer a few questions and how many hours you can spend learning.
  3. Then you need to create your student ID where you will enter your full name as this is the name that will appear on your certificate.
  4. Next, enter your email address and your contact number.
  5. Then provide your gender, age, and educational goal.
  6. The last step is to enter your card details.

Shaw Academy advises that you will not pay for anything during the free trial period on the card details page. And that you won’t be charged if you cancel before the date indicated, which is about 28 days from the date you’ve signed up.

You will also receive an email within seven days before your free trial is up. Per Shaw Academy, if you would like to cancel, you can do so anytime without commitment. There’s also a refundable fee that will be charged to your registered card for validation purposes.

After your successful registration, you can now select the course you would like to take. If the system has an upcoming live webinar, you will be notified via email. You can interact with the professors and other students with live webinars just like in a regular classroom.

Otherwise, you can access the pre-recorded lessons if you were not able to attend the live webinars. You have unlimited access to pre-recorded lessons, so you can rewatch them how many times you like.

Typically, you need to attend at least two classes per week. If you encounter any issues or have any concerns about the course, you can reach out to Shaw Academy’s technical and educational support teams.

Just like in a traditional learning setup, you will also have quizzes, assignments (optional), and weekly assessments to complete. Then by the end of the course, you need to pass a final exam. You also have the option to take the formal review, which requires an additional fee.

Shaw Academy is accredited by Austin Peay State University, located in Tenessee, USA and also, certified by the CPD or Continuing Professional Development Certification Service, which, upon doing research, does not have a good trust rating.

Shaw Academy Review: Can You Make Money?

No, you will not make money directly from Shaw Academy. But you can learn the skills and get the certifications that could land you a job.

How To Make Money With the Shaw Academy?

Shaw Academy has an affiliate program if you want to make money while using the platform. You can earn $5 up to $15 for every new learner you refer to Shaw Academy. Even if your referred student decides not to pursue an ongoing subscription, you will still receive your commission. There’s also no minimum sales requirement.

Shaw Academy Review: Pros & Cons

Before you register with Shaw Academy, consider the following pros and cons first. You need to know things to help you decide whether or not Shaw Academy is an excellent educational platform.


  • 4 weeks free trial
  • Quality training courses
  • Interactive lessons
  • Variety of full coverage courses


  • Hidden charges
  • Bundled countdowns of courses and offers
  • Misleading phrases
  • Frequent texts and emails to take more courses, offers, and buy certificates
  • Complaints of subscription renewal charge before the free trial ends
  • Can turn out expensive due to add-ons, toolkits, and unwanted monthly subscription fees
  • Difficulty in canceling the subscription
  • Poor customer support

Any Negatives? Beware of Lawsuits

I’m unable to find any lawsuit against Shaw Academy. However, it has been facing a lot of backlash and complaints from former students. On the BBB website alone, the number of complaints skyrocketed to almost 5,000, and there are still new complaints being lodged.

The majority of these complaints talk about the difficulty of cancelling their subscription. There is no straightforward cancel button. If you try to cancel online, you will be taken to multiple links or pages of retention scripts. In the end, you have to call a phone number for it to be cancelled.

Another reason for most of the complaints is the early charging of subscription fees. Many people said that their cards were charged several days earlier than expected when it was supposed to be by the 28th day from their registration date. And most of them said that this happened without prior notice from Shaw Academy.

According to Shaw Academy, after receiving these complaints, they have improved their cancellation process. However, the recent protests are still related to the same issues as before. It seems that there’s still a lot to fix.

Is the Shaw Academy Legitimate?

I can say that Shaw Academy is a legitimate company. But I don’t like how they do their marketing and charge you even before your free trial ends without notice.

Shaw Academy pushes people to register using countdown timers, a scarcity tactic making people decide impulsively. You will be offered a cheaper subscription fee if you try to leave, depending on your location. Go ahead and exit the website, then go back again. The price returns to its original amount.

Some complaints were about the frequent emails and SMS from Shaw Academy. The emails offer you upsells, which they call toolkits. And they will phrase the offer as something you need to complete the course. But the truth is you may not probably need them. It is just a way to get you to spend more money on them.

More importantly, their cancellation process is confusing and complicated. Some former students thought they had already cancelled their Shaw Academy subscription after going through a lot of trouble doing it online. But it turns out their subscription is still active, and they get surprised by another charge.

Some of the students tried to reach out to Shaw Academy via email. They just received a response, still trying to stop them from cancelling. Eventually, they find out that they had to cancel their subscription by calling a phone number. Which they claim is also difficult to get through to speak to someone.

Because of these issues, Shaw Academy is frequently called a scam, even if they are a legitimate business. They have been operating for many years, but it seems that they have a lot to fix.

Final Thoughts

So now you know more about Shaw Academy and why I do not recommend it. Indeed, they offer a lot of good courses. But the downside is Shaw Academy can turn out expensive. Thanks to their early subscription charges and seemingly unending upsell offers.

Also, you can find similar courses available on YouTube, and they are free. There are also other online educational platforms such as Coursera,, Udacity, Futurelearn, etc. You may find the courses or membership plans that will fit your budget. Plus, some of them offer educational degrees accredited by top universities that employers recognize.

But there’s also a way to learn skills and possibly earn money at the same time. Furthermore, you can also start your own business and be your boss.

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