Is Accredited Online School Really Worth It? Here Are The Details
For me, learning a new skill takes more than just asking for advice or reading directions on how to do something. For work or just a hobby, it's about learning the ins and outs of a subject and being confident in what it is I'm trying to master.
There's so much I want to explore-I've always wanted to try my hand at photography, digital marketing & I'd love to sharpen my cooking skills. But my friends and colleagues don't have the time to sit and teach me anything besides the basics, and I don't have the time to enroll in a full-time program on a campus. So when I was venting about the difficulty of trying to learn new skills with my friends, they recommended Shaw Academy.
Shaw Academy is an online school that offers classes in business, technology, and the arts. This sounded great on paper, but I haven't had much success with online courses before. The last online class I took, I found the professors were disengaged, the courses were poorly designed, and there was never anybody available to answer any questions. I was also worried that I wouldn't learn as much compared to an in-person class and if I could even afford paying for more school.
I decided to do a little research. What I was surprised to learn is that Shaw Academy was different than many other online schools. To start, they have a free trial offer for all of their classes...and most of their classes have four modules that cost $49.99 each. Since you get your first module free, it basically ends up being just $150 for the equivalent of an associate's degree. I decided to sign up for the digital marketing courses, but I quickly learned that if you sign up for one course, Shaw Academy gives you access to all of their other courses at no additional charge. Woo!
Shortly after signing up, a student advisor from Shaw Academy reached out to me. He explained that his goal was to provide hands-on support as well as tutoring services for any of the courses I took. On top of that, I learned that each of the online courses has a live element with a professor teaching the classes in real-time. This was paired with interactive modules and quizzes which made me really excited to start because there was a human element to each of the courses.
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Over the next few months, I took the next three modules. During that time my schedule was packed with preparing for client presentations at work and entertaining visiting relatives, but Shaw Academy lets you watch the lectures online at your own pace if you miss the scheduled times (which you can do in your PJs!). They have 24/7 support from advisors, so I could ask questions whenever I thought of them. The best part is that their courses earn you a certification which is to Level 5 of the European Qualifications Framework, the equivalent of an Associate's Degree in the US… And I even made a couple of local connections from other people in my classes.
Shaw Academy is flexible and convenient without any distractions or pressure. I'm grateful that my friends pushed me to give this a try. I now have the knowledge to help my team with social media marketing and I also completed introduction to photography, too. It's been an interest of mine for years, and I love that I finally know how to capture the perfect shot. I'm so excited to see how many other valuable skills I can learn!