Is Shaw Academy Legit? The Controversial $45 “Free Trial”

shaw academy review
Your friend might want to know about this:

Online education proves to be one of the booming businesses available today. Just recently, you have probably heard about the recent clash between Trustpilot and one of the well-marketed online course providers, which perhaps makes you question: 


Is Shaw Academy legit, and more importantly, is it right for me?


Self-development is now a big thing all over the world. While instructional YouTube videos may seem like a whole lot of fun, online courses seem to be on a different caliber. 

Don’t get me wrong. Learning from YouTube or books may be an excellent way to learn something new, but enrolling in a well-structured training/skills course is still a better deal. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, we witness the astonishing growth in the number of courses available on popular massive open online courses (MOOC) providers such as UdemyAlisonCoursera, and edX.

The brands above are all household names in the field of MOOC as they provide professional and accredited certificates from leading institutions.

What makes them different from enrolling in traditional schools is that you can focus more on your emotional skills.

For one, I have found myself learning about tech and photography from Coursera, and I can honestly say that it is one of the best ways to upskill while earning a relevant certificate or a degree.

 *(yep, some subjects may be credited depending on your school)*


Listed as one of the featured low-cost online course providers in MoocLab, Shaw Academy is quickly gaining a consistent following. 

Unfortunately, this following seems to be on the 50-50: some praise the platform while others complain about it on different channels. 


You can find these varying views all over FacebookReddit, and Quora! 🙂


If you are in for a tasty treat, you better prepare yourself as I expose to you the controversial things I found about Shaw Academy.

Towards the end of this article, I will also show my online education platform for earning an additional four figures each month through affiliate marketing.

Let’s get cooking! 👨‍🍳


Who Are James Egan and Adrian Murphy?

As an appetizer, let’s talk about the men behind Shaw Academy.

You see, born out of their vision of providing quality education at a lower cost, James Egan, and Adrian Murphy founded the Shaw Academy back in 2012.

For the past eight years, they have added many skill-based courses targeting professionals and enthusiasts as they venture on a subject they are most interested in.


👉James Egan holds a master’s degree in commercial law from the University College of Dublin under his belt. Before establishing Shaw Academy, he dwelled on marketing as an analyst for Citco Hedge Funds (2008) and Ava Capital Markets (2009).

Leveraging what he learned from his previous experiences, he founded in 2012 an online education platform focused on financial trading called the Academy of Financial Trading.

👉Adrian Murphy also graduated from the University College of Dublin with a Master’s in management information systems. 

While he no longer serves Shaw Academy, his skills and experiences allowed him to establish two major international brands, Capserv and Fitness Data Science.

Adrian started his career as a Manager for British Telecom back in 1999 to 2003. A year after that, he co-founded an outsourcing company called Global Communications. 

It has offices in Ireland, South Africa, and Spain. Given his experience working with international team members, he became a strategic partner of Ava Trade, a trading brokerage.


What is Shaw Academy?

And for our main dish, let’s discuss the buzz around Shaw Academy. 😋

At present, online learning is not a far fetched idea. As a matter of fact, it is the new “normal” in terms of self-improvement. 

Not only can you learn conveniently at your own pace, but you can also track your specific progress in your chosen area. 

Additionally, most of the MOOCs today are in partnership with different institutions, which means that the courses are comprehensively reviewed.

Shaw Academy is just an example of the many other MOOCs who can provide accredited diplomas and certificates after finishing a course. 

The platform offers skill-based learning through interactive lessons and practical application of concepts. It even prides itself on providing online live classes at the students’ preferred time!is Shaw Academy legit It is a subscription service by which users can pay a per-course or one-time fee to access all the website’s educational content. Some examples are the professors’ recorded instruction, tutoring, toolkits, and the support course materials.

The academy holds one of the most significant communities compared to other online education brands. The Shaw Academy website shows that it was already able to reach 12 million students worldwide with its wide selection of premium courses. 

They are also in partnership with big brands such as Adobe, GoDaddy, Vodafone, and Flipkart.

Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Shaw Academy LLC designed the platform with efficiency and total interaction in mind.

Navigating the website is quite a breeze since all you have to do is signup, pick a course, attend the two interactive classes, complete the assignments and quizzes, and earn your certificate (which they send almost instantly as you finish the course).


The Courses Under Shaw Academy

From its humble beginning back in 2012, the platform started its journey by providing one course. 

Apparently, this course reached 700+ students, making the management realize that they should focus on adding more specialized courses.

With its vision of equipping people with relevant skills for their own ventures and careers, they have added ten major categories for hundreds of courses. All of the courses are Adobe Affinity Partner. 

This includes:👇👇👇

•  Photography (6 courses)

•  Marketing (6 courses)

•  Beauty (2 courses)

•  Business (7 courses)

•  Finance (7 courses)

•  Design (8 courses)

•  Language (2 courses)

•  Technology (11 courses)

•  Music (2 courses)

•  Health and Wellness (9 courses)

Each of the courses comes with interactive quizzes and optional assignments to strengthen your knowledge of your new-found skill. It also holds Q&A sessions and live discussions on your preferred schedule. 🙂


The Cost of Shaw Academy 

Let’s cover the basics. Upon visiting the site’s landing pages, the first thing you will see is their offer of a free 4-week course for any course. 

In this sense, all you have to do is pick a course then register from the “Get 4-Weeks Free” button on that page. The registration is a breeze and will ask you questions such as your reason for taking the course, your biggest challenge, and your personal info.

With its vast selection of courses, note that the number of lessons or parts per course can vary. Some are short, while others are quite long. 

Regardless, you can work your way through all of the lessons at your desired pace. For instance, if you find yourself lost and unconfident on a specific topic, you may pay for an optional formal assessment amounting to $49.


Do note that if you do not want to get charged, you must unsubscribe. ❌


This is because the platforms does not automatically cancel your membership after the 28 days. If you could not do so, then prepare yourself as you will be required to pay the standard subscription fee worth $59.


If you have loved the platform, you may also go after the premium subscription schemes available below.

•  12 Months – €16.66 per month / €199.96 every 12 months ✔️

•  6 Months – €29.99 per month / 179.95 every 6 months ✔️

•  3 Months – €33.32 per month / 99.95 every 3 months ✔️


Shaw Academy: Ugly Truths Revealed

As we all know, the main course is best served with side dishes. 🍟 🍤 

In terms of the educational material, Shaw Academy offers outstanding courses. I mean, these are the skills that are highly “sell-able.” 

I can see why people in the market for developing new and practical skills will go after this platform.

I often see their advertisements on social media too! However, I also found some shady things about it, and I’ll gladly share them with you. 😊


1. Questionable integrity

Just recently, Trustpilot flagged the platform as “under investigation” due to the number of complaints on billing and the biased reviews of users on the site. 

What I find weird is that Shaw Academy did not make counterclaims regarding the reviews. Instead, they are merely applying safety measures to respond to each query. This leads me to the idea that maybe, this is their way of admitting guilt.

Also, there are ongoing online petitions about the company, which can already reflect that the complaints against Shaw Academy are not a one-time thing. It has affected a lot of people worldwide. Some are already calling it Scam Academy!


2. Transparency

Out of the 2,640 total complaints in the last 3 years, most of them are from their billing and collections procedure. Based on BBB, most of the users warn others about the unauthorized transactions they are experiencing from the Shaw Academy. 

Some say that even if they have unsubscribed to the trial, their accounts were still credited (some are even credited twice!).

Also, customers are complaining about the numerous pop-up ads that you may accidentally click. And once you click on it, it will show that you have provided consent to purchase (with no refunds!) These advertisements are all selling specialized toolkits.

Lastly, customers are complaining that Shaw Academy “teachers” contact them through unknown numbers trying to ask them about their experiences. Unfortunately, the minute a customer drops the call, their accounts are usually credited for a purchase.


3. Support is not their strongest suit

Since people are consistently experiencing problems regarding their account of Shaw Academy, the customer service line is not something they should be proud of.

Countless customers are saying that the company usually ignores their emails. And if you are lucky to have an email back, you must expect some kind of copy and pasted structure saying that whatever is bought cannot be refunded.


Is Shaw Academy Legit or a Total Scam?

Let us finish our luscious meal with the sweetest dessert ever – the legitimacy of Shaw Academy. 🍩 🍧 🍰

Answering whether it is legit or not is a difficult task. You see, as a learning platform, they are certainly not perfect. Some courses are good while others are just mediocre, but they are actually legitimate and up to date with the latest trends.



Based on the facts I have presented, I am not sure that I am not the only one thinking that these issues are somewhat intentional. 

While the company may look very strong in marketing, its credibility in money matters is definitely on the hot seat.


With this being said, I do not recommend using this platform. 🛑 ✋

The website’s cons are still too much, and as long as customers and even Trustpilot are flagging it, you should stay away from this one.


Why Not Go for A Better Alternative Instead?

For skills like coding, sewing, or even event photography, you might want to visit other credible MOOCs with a history of good performance.

On the other hand, if you would like to learn more about marketing, website building, and SEO, then you might want to watch out for my number one recommendation instead. 


My recommended course holds the number one spot for a reason. 🥇 ⭐ 🏆 


It will teach you how to establish a successful affiliate marketing business, and it will help you to plant and grow a $6000 source of passive income online. 

And do you know what the best part about it is? It doesn’t require substantial upfront costs, and as a matter of fact, you can even get started for free. 🆓 🆓 🆓 Is Shaw Academy a scam Trying to learn affiliate marketing on your own can become a daunting task. Trust me on this. I’ve experienced it first hand, and that’s why I want to save you from going down the same path. 

As someone who is sincerely passionate about your success and growth in general, I recommend that you sign up for affiliate marketing communities that are both supportive and educational.


As for me, being a part of Wealthy Affiliate already solved half the problem.

This is because they consistently provide support through sharing fresh videos, tutorials, and courses to help me ( and hopefully you) stay ahead of our game.

The community is so rich and diverse that I can get instant answering and recommendations from other affiliates in a matter of seconds. 

Everything you ever wanted to know about building a successful online business can be found at Wealthy Affiliate, and joining this community will push you one step closer to success. 

The Shaw Academy may not be the best option for you, but I would not say the same thing about WA. At the end of the day, I just want you to feel comfortable with whichever one you choose. 💯 💯 💯

Feel free to leave a comment and ask your questions underneath this post, and I will do my best to reply to them promptly. As always, take care and keep on thriving. 


Your friend might want to know about this:


  1. Thank you for clearing this. I was nearly about to sign up this course of Shaw but I do not like that they do not have proper support.
    I also do not like the fact that they are not fighting against the complaints made against them.

    1. That’s probably what makes it even worse. It’s one thing to make a mistake and fix it, but it’s completely inappropriate to leave it like it is and pretend as it has not happened.

      This is one of the reasons why I would advise you to try something else instead. Thanks for stopping by on my blog and for sharing your opinion with me!

  2. Hello,

    I have heard of Shaw Academy, but I had only heard good things. I actually was considering taking Shaw Academy classes, but I had no idea they had this negative reputation or that all these people were having all of these issues!

    So, thank you, because I’d say you probably saved me from a ton of grief. I guess I will still with Skillshare, Udemy, and YouTube to learn random stuff on the internet 😀

    I do also have to second your recommendation of Wealthy Affiliate. It’s pretty great!


    1. Hey Jade, I sincerely hope that my Shaw Academy review was more than enough to assure you that there are far better alternatives that you should look into.

      Don’t get me wrong. There are some pretty cool courses within this platform, but their support team is probably one of the worst I’ve ever come across by!

      As for WA – you can’t go wrong!

      I wish you all the best, and good luck on your journey!

  3. Hi, Gorjan,

    I’m all for learning online. Long gone are the days where you had to attend live classes to learn something.

    I was confusing this academy with another one I constantly see on Instagram. I don’t remember the name, but they specialized in photography and videography. I even attended a Q&A but didn’t subscribe.

    By the way, could you recommend an academy or company that specializes in photography courses? I need to take classes to improve my shots.

    The prices for Shaw Academy don’t seem that bad, but given the high number of complaints, I think I’ll stay away from it.

    Thanks for the warning.


    1. Hey, Enrique. Hope you’re doing well.

      I took mines on Udemy, and so can you. 🙂

      Just make sure not to fall for their inflated prices at the beginning. My advice for you is to visit their site, so you get “cookied”, and once their pixel recognizes you, they will bombard you with huge discounts.

      There are a ton of practical courses you can take part in. Plus, the prices on Udemy are silly, so you take advantage of that and buy not only one, but several courses!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thanks, Gorjan, for your outstanding review. It’s difficult nowadays if you have an expertise to bring it online in a good way. Notably, it’s not only that you have to know what you are talking about, but all the rest like technique, marketing and support is equally important.

    I guess that’s Shaw Academy’s problem as well, if I read your review correctly. We Dutch have a saying that your good name (=reputation) comes on foot and goes by horse ride. It nevertheless saddens me if that happens to somebody. Lost trust is so hard to regain.

    1. You said it best, Hannie. Earning someone’s trust is easy(er), but regaining it back certainly requires a lot more effort from your end. (in this case, Shaw’s Academy)

      I think that %70 inside this platform are worth the price, but none of that matters when you’re dealing with a company that’s notoriously known for having a bad reputation regarding customer support. I’ve dealt with many similar platforms (with no Cust.Supp) and don’t have the nerves to do so no more.

      PS: My Dutch friend said the exact same saying the other day, and I agree entirely with it. It sounded silly to me at first, but you know how it is with foreign languages.

      All the best to you, Hannie, and thanks for stopping by!

  5. As you mentioned, e-learning courses are all the rage nowadays and continue to be popular but I’m not too familiar with Shaw Academy.

    I have used Udemy in the past which is probably the one that most people turn to because of the abundance of courses, both free and paid that you can choose from.

    I found that Udemy is always altering the course prices, so one day you could find the course at let’s say $200 and the very next day its discounted right down to $9.99.

    I see you are promoting Wealthy Affiliate for which have heard is a great training platform.

    How long have you been involved with Wealthy Affiliate and how did it take for you to really start earning decent money if you don’t mind me asking?

    Thank you for sharing this review on Shaw Academy and I shall certainly check them out further

    1. Hey, Mick. Hope you are keeping well!

      Udemy is indeed a great alternative to the Shaw Academy, and most of their price fluctuations are due to their marketing efforts.

      Believe it or not, some buy the $200 on Udemy, while others play it smart and wait until they get “cookied” so they can take advantage of the promotions and discounted prices.

      As for Wealthy Affiliate – the platform undoubtedly one of the best you can find nowadays and they even prove that be allowing you to create a forever free starter membership. You won’t get full access to the platform, but you would still have gathered enough information to decide whether you want to upgrade to the premium membership plan or not.

      I’ve been a member for nearly two years now, and I still consider myself as a freshman. (still have a lot to go)

      WA teaches you how to build an affiliate marketing blog from the ground up, and show you how to drive traffic to it through SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization.

      SEO is not hard, but it takes time. The thing I love the most about it is that it generates steady traffic compared to paid advertising (you don’t pay, you don’t get traffic), and it becomes passive over time. (sales come in automatically)

      It took me nearly a year to get my first sale (because I made some mistakes), but I genuinely believe that you can get there much sooner.

      It gets easier after you make your first sale since the snowball effect comes right after that. (See what the snowball effect is in my ultimate affiliate marketing beginner’s guide)

      I started to make lifechanging income 6-7 months after my first sale happened.

      You have nothing to lose, Mick, and I’m not even forcing you to use my affiliate link. The platform is indeed gold, and I advise you as a friend to give it a chance. It is legit and has been recently updated to make the onboarding process even more welcoming for newcomers like yourself.

      Take care & do not hesitate to reach out to me if there’s somehow I can help. 🙂

  6. I agree with you, investing in oneself through online courses is one of the wisest things a person can do, especially now during the pandemic and lockdown. I started taking part in courses, seminars, and such events a few years ago and since then, my life has turned around.

    I was somewhat interested in Shaw Academy product line. However, your review, just like many other reviews out there has confirmed that despite the potential quality of the material provided, the company has some serious infrastructure issues. I’m not feeling safe giving them my money.

    Shaw Academy might not be a scam, but seeing all those complaints is enough for me. On top of that, They have issues with TrustPilot. Never a good sign. In any case, thanks for sharing your comprehensive review. Cheers!

    1. This pandemic got us learning, a Ivan?

      Yeah, the TrustPilot signs were a big NO-NO for me as well. You can always try looking for similar courses at other renowned learning platforms, which I’m sure you already know of. (Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, etc.)

      I sincerely hope you liked my analysis since I always try to give it my best and provide my readers with the latest, most detailed, and truthful information regarding the product I’m reviewing.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I highly appreciate it!

  7. Hey,

    I have read a lot of your reviews and I agree that Shaw Academy does sound like a scam to me too. The costs for the different levels don’t actually seem too bad, but the support and the training doesn’t sound very good. Your recommendation does sound a lot better and at t very reasonable price. I will let you know if I invest in this and if I do I will give you my thoughts.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


    1. Hey, Tom, make sure you do that!

      Wealthy Affiliate offers much more than just detailed course videos. They will also provide you with all the tools, support, and most importantly, the encouragement to go ahead and crush it in the online marketing work.

      Make sure you get back at me and tell me how it went so I can spice up my Wealthy Affiliate review with even more testimonials from actual members.

      As I sign of appreciation, I will share with you my exact keywords research guide that I use to find low-hanging keywords and rank my articles on the first page of Google.

      I wish you all the success in the world, Tom!

Comments are closed.