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Shaw Academy on how to become a dog groomer and make a career from it

Loving dogs is probably the number one priority if you want to become a dog groomer. But aside from enjoying being around our four-legged friends, there are other steps to take if you’re serious about making a career out of it.

Many people have been made redundant due to the pandemic and many more are looking for a fresh start. The benefits of becoming a qualified dog groomer means you can work for an established brand, such as a pet store chain, or you could start your own business. If you’re considering switching careers, then read on for more on how to become a dog groomer.

How to become a dog groomer with online learning

Dog grooming is about more than just washing the customer’s pooch. It’s the kind of job that comes with a lot of responsibility and the need for excellent client skills. People are very attached to their dogs and will often be nervous about leaving them with a total stranger. Particularly when you start out as a newly qualified dog groomer, you’ll find that much of the role is about establishing trust and working on your customer care.

As well as learning how to properly wash, brush and groom a dog, you’ll also need to be able to give their owner’s trustworthy advice on coat care, grooming, diet, claw clipping and ear cleaning. Shaw Academy instructors advise combining an online course with practical work experience in an established dog grooming salon if possible.

Course reviews of the Shaw Academy dog Grooming Course Online include high praise for the level of information delivered in the webinars. We know that dog grooming is a popular career option, and we want to make gaining accredited qualifications accessible to everyone. You can read more reviews of Shaw Academy grooming courses here.

How much can you make as a professional dog groomer?


The average salary for a dog groomer starts at around £13,000 per annum for someone starting out. Experienced groomers can expect to earn in excess of £20,000 and if you choose to start your own business, then you may well earn more after a few years’ experience. This is based on a full-time role as a dog groomer but there are often positions available at established grooming businesses for part-time staff too.
To become a dog groomer, you will need to gain a qualification, whether it’s through online learning at Shaw Academy or by going to college. Entry requirements for college tend to be at least two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 while online learning courses tend to need commitment and focus rather than specific exam results on entry.

A good way to get used to working with dogs in a professional capacity is by combining studies with volunteering. You could get some really useful experience by volunteering to work with dogs in kennels. Try major charities such as Guide Dogs or Blue Cross in your area to see whether there are any voluntary positions open. Alternatively, you could begin working as an assistant or trainee dog groomer with an experienced business owner and learn on the job.

What kind of skills and experience will you need to be a dog groomer?


People who are suited to a career as a dog groomer need the following skills and traits:

  • Thoroughness and attention to detail.
  • High level of customer service skills.
  • Able to use initiative and make decisions.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to what customers want.
  • A high degree of patience.
  • The ability to remain calm under stress.
  • Able to work well with lots of types of people.
  • Open to constructive criticism.
  • Exemplary communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • A degree of computer literacy.

The kinds of tasks you’ll undertake as a dog groomer include:

  • Checking for minor parasites or obvious disorders – this is never a substitute for a vet check-up, but you should be able to see whether the dog is generally healthy and free from fleas and ticks, for example.
  • Shampooing and drying the dog’s coat.
  • Shaping the dog’s coat using a stripping tool or electric clippers.
  • Trimming and styling the dog’s coat using scissors.
  • Keeping the dog comfortable and relaxed while you’re grooming him or her.
  • Maintaining accurate and communicative records.

Depending on your career plans, you could be working in someone else’s salon, your own salon, in a client’s home, at a dog day care/boarding facility or at a vet’s office. Remember that the work is sometimes messy and always physically demanding.

When you have built up enough training and experience, you could branch off into becoming self-employed. This could mean working as a mobile groomer visiting owners homes, heading to pet shops, kennels or anywhere else that needs a professional groomer. You could also eventually take it further and become a trainer yourself.

It’s a career with a definite path to climb and there are opportunities out there. And for dog lovers, grooming can be the real dream job. Have a look at the Shaw Academy dog grooming course here to find out what’s included. And for more about Shaw Academy online learning head over to our dedicated reviews website here.

Shaw Academy with advice on becoming a successful property investor

If you thought a career as a property investor was something that you couldn’t possibly do, think again. Property development and investment are no longer the sole domain of already rich people. In fact, it’s a career option that anyone can consider.

Take the time to learn about it first, and then consider whether it’s a chance you’re willing to take. Successful property investors benefit in a number of ways. Working for themselves, making money and having control over the projects they take on and sell combine to make an attractive career option.

Here’s how to launch your career as a successful property investor


For people completely new to the idea of becoming a property investor, we would recommend taking our online course. This will give you enough information to work out whether it’s truly for you, and as you move through the modules, how you can learn the skills you need to make it happen. Reviews of Shaw Academy courses can be found here.

Whether you decide to take a formal course or go it alone, remember that it’s highly unlikely that you will become an overnight success in this field. Property investment takes time to learn and to properly understand.

Factors ranging from the current interest rate to the amount of money you have available to invest all combine to demand a proper thought-out strategy. Before the pandemic, property prices were soaring in the UK. And since the vaccination roll-out began, they are creeping up again after stalling for around six months in 2020.

External factors like the socio-economic environment and any major events impacting the economy are exactly the kind of things that you need to understand. Property investment is never risk-free – no investment ever is – but done correctly it can lead to regular income.

Understand the market and refine your target opportunities

When you’ve learned how to strategise and you have a starting stake, it’s time to home in on the areas of interest. If you are sticking to residential property, then we would recommend targeting flats over houses, although this does depend on the region you’re looking at.

Investing in houses, whether terraced, semi-detached or detached, can and will make you money, apartments tend to be better buy-to-let opportunities. The turnaround is generally more regular and in key areas of the country, there will always be demand.

Apartments have a number of different types of demographic interested in them, including couples, single professionals, students and small mixed flat shares. People with children and growing families tend to want to move into more suburban areas and to select houses, but this isn’t always the case.

Over the next few years, there will continue to be significant urban migration from young professionals and graduates who want to get their careers started. They will naturally flock to city centres in key areas – think London, Brighton, Liverpool. City centre property locations will usually offer the biggest yields. And while the pandemic has obviously affected the way people move around, this is already beginning to bounce back.

Consider cities with a high number of graduates and young professionals

Big university cities and towns have always been great places to snap up property investment opportunities. And while students may still be working online for now, universities will soon open up again. City centre properties will generally cost more when you buy them, but you will also be able to either sell on or rent out for higher still. City centres remain the most lucrative property areas in the country, thanks to accessibility, transport links, nightlife and general amenities.

Research the area you are looking at, and even if you think you know it well, take the time to research it more. With the right strategy, the right approach and sufficient understanding of the market, it’s possible to turn an initial stake of £50,000 to £100,000 into substantially more in a relatively short time.

Depending on your budget, consider cheaper but up and coming cities over places like London. Look in the north particularly and see whether there are any investment opportunities in places like Manchester and Liverpool. It’s also worth considering off-plan developments. While it can seem riskier to start with, if you get in at the right time (ie, early on in the development), you can benefit from cheaper prices on a property that will gain capital appreciation overt the next few years.

So, what can you learn from the Shaw Academy online course?

It’s very much a beginner’s guide to  becoming a property investor and is therefore particularly beneficial for people considering making the move into property investment. Regardless of your background or experience level, you can complete the first four weeks for free. This covers the entire first module, which gives you an excellent opportunity to try it risk free.

Taught by Shaw Academy specialist instructors, the real estate investment course will help you understand the fundamentals and strategies within the sector. Find out whether property investment is right for you, how it works, the kind of strategy you’d need to develop, the main components of investment decisions and how to truly understand the mindset you need.

Psychology is an important factor in any investment decisions, and to excel at property investment you need to really grasp how people work in this sector. You’ll also receive grounding in buying off-plan and investing in buy-to-let properties, how and when to flip (sell) a property.


5 steps to take if you want to become a social media manager – from Shaw Academy Careers

Our Shaw Academy careers website is packed with eclectic information, advice, tips and much more. All of the content on this site is written by highly qualified Shaw Academy educators and online learning experts, so you can trust it’s the right place to come.

On to this blog’s advice – how to become a social media manager. It’s a fast-growing sector whether you want to find a job working for a big company or you intend to go it alone as a freelancer. Most companies of all sizes and across all sectors now realise they need a working social media strategy and presence. It’s become much more than a ‘nice to have’ option for a business that intends to engage with its customer-base in a useful way.

Learn how to become a social media manager for a creative career
So, wherever you live in the world, it’s accurate to say that social media skills are in high demand. The salary range in the UK ranges between £19,000 and £60,000, and the average is around £30,000. This does depend on your skill level and experience, of course. But with an online learning course, you can make sure you get these skills in the most convenient and effective way for you to develop your career in this sphere.

Skills you’ll need to learn and understand include a variety of technical and creative skills, as well as a core understanding of marketing and the psychology of consumers. This goes much further than making a TikTok video or putting a filter on your Instagram selfies.

Social media management is a highly important part of today’s marketing mix and can make or break a small business or new venture. To be an effective social media manager you need to acquire a mix of skills, including emotional, intelligent, tech-savvy, flexibility, empathy and an in-depth knowledge of your chosen sector. You will be posting on behalf of brands and companies that rely on you to quickly grasp their entire marketing strategy and provide measurable value.

Have a look at the Shaw Academy course here. Remember that you can complete the first module for free and see whether it works for you. In the meantime, here are some steps you should take if you’re serious about developing a career in social media management.

5 steps to take on your journey towards becoming a social media manager

  1. Get up close and personal with social media platforms

Having a basic knowledge of social media channels isn’t enough for a role as a social media manager. Instead, you need to really understand them. This means how they work, how to get the most out of each platform, how to build the following you need and what kind of content works best.

Obviously, the same content doesn’t work across every platform in the same way. So, spend time familiarising yourself with platforms and the content they use. Find out what works best, whether it’s text, video, images or a mix. Businesses and employers will want to see immediately that you can give them the kind of verifiable results across different platforms.

  1. Practice and improve your writing skills

Writing is a core component of social media management. As a social media manager, you will be a communicator and you will work mostly with visual and written content.

Learning how to create engaging and well-targeted copy is one of the most important aspects of running social media platforms. Effective content marketing assist a brand or company in providing valuable, measurable information for consumers. It will link the brand with consumers and build customer retention.

You’ll need to understanding blogging, different writing styles, copywriting, sub-editing, how to navigate tone and voice and how to effectively research content formats. This skill is absolutely key for your success in this sector. Consumers want to be engaged in a way that makes them feel recognised.

  1. Learn about the broad marketing mix

The overall goals of social media marketing are about much more than your Instagram feed. Social media management links email and content marketing, customer service, sales and traditional marketing too. You’ll have to be able to demonstrate how your strategy will ft into the wider marketing goals for the business. This includes the need to understand lead generation, search engine optimisation (SEO), metrics and analytics too.

Content marketing is a part of this mix, and you need to understand how to create and use content across all kinds of different channels. Learning how to tie into the brand’s whole marketing strategy will hugely boost your credibility with interviewers, potential clients or job opportunities.

  1. Learn about social media marketing with an online education course

Taking an accredited course in social media marketing can help you land a job. You don’t need a formal degree but ensuring that you obtain a respected diploma will definitely help you along the way. Online courses at Shaw Academy are ideal whether you have a grounding degree or not, as they cover all the latest and most up-to-date teaching.

Basically, employers want to see that you have a real, useful, working knowledge and understanding of social media strategy. They want to see that you know how to make a brand stand out on social media and optimise its presence.

  1. Construct an online portfolio for interviews

Employers need to see evidence that you know what you’re doing. Being able to present them with online samples of your work is a great way to do this. Build your portfolio carefully and showcase anything relevant, from blogs you’ve written to social media channels and posts that have been successful. You can include projects from any education course you’ve taken too.

If you’re serious about becoming a social media manager, check out the Shaw Academy courses here. You can also find out what graduates and students think from our dedicated Shaw Academy reviews site.

Shaw Academy’s guide to why you definitely need to learn soft skills as well as technical

Whatever your career choice, from hospitality to accountancy and everything in between, you need a variety of skills. These do, of course, include the technical skills for the role you want. If you intend to become a web designer, for example, you need to learn how to design websites. Technical skills like these are usually your first thought when planning a career path.

But there is so much more to landing and keeping the job of your dreams. Similarly, if you want to start your own business, launch your own entrepreneurial venture or develop your career in any way, you must also learn soft skills.

Why is it important to learn soft skills?
If you’re wondering what soft skills are, think about the people you choose to do business with. For example, if you’re looking for a dentist, do you choose the one that makes you feel at ease and relaxed or do you pick the one who doesn’t speak and treats you like a number? The answer is obvious. And this is the difference soft skills make.

Soft skills matter more than you realise when you start out on your career journey. It’s natural to focus on the technical skills needed, but as you make your way up the ladder, you will quickly learn why soft skills are valued so much.

They encompass everything about you that other people will react to. Soft skills are people skills, communication skills, emotional intelligence and lots of other personal attributes. These are absolutely crucial to your career success. And you can learn them through online courses with Shaw Academy in the same way that you can learn how to programme a computer or work as an accountant.

Soft skills help with business leadership
For those of you who envisage a future in business leadership, soft skills will help you excel. Everything from the way you look at problem solving, project management, motivating your employees, recruiting, team building and how your people perform, are all impacted by the level of your soft skills.

Getting along with people, making employees feel recognised and worthwhile, understanding how to talk with clients and customers – all of these skills can’t be maintained without strong personal soft skills. Often, the importance of soft skills is very much undervalued, and even ignored. This is why there is less training on offer within companies and businesses, and why career advisors won’t necessarily encourage you to learn them.

Many businesses seem to have the attitude that new employees will automatically understand how to act and how to behave. This just isn’t the case. College graduates with little work experience will not intrinsically understand the benefit or relevance of soft skills, and it can hold them back.

If you’re in a job that you can’t seem to progress in, or you feel that there is something missing or lacking from your work performance, then you should consider studying soft skills. Similarly, if you have your technical and academic skills and qualifications under your belt and are just starting out on your career path, taking a course that covers soft skills will increase your chances of getting the job of your dreams.

Closing the soft skills gap to improve your career

From a business point of view, a soft skills gap comes when it appears easy to gain clients, but not to keep them. Other warning signs include having many middle managers with a shortage of true leaders, needing to retrain staff over and over, a high staff turnover and a realisation that the team’s knowledge and experience aren’t being properly utilised.

There is a strong interpersonal dynamic within every place of work. This can’t be ignored by either employers or employees. It’s necessary for people at all levels to be able to listen well, present ideas properly, understand how to resolve conflict and communicate in a way that fosters a positive environment.

Soft skills are vital for team members and team leaders alike. Areas to develop and study include:

  • The importance of taking personal responsibility in a calm way.
  • How to collaborate with people at all levels.
  • How to resolve conflicts internally and externally.
  • How to become adaptable, open and flexible.
  • How to communicate effectively.
  • How to be creative and open-minded.
  • How to feel included and include other people.
  • The importance of soft skills if you’re mentoring or training others.

The more of these you can incorporate into your skills base, the better off you’ll be in your career. All of these aspects significantly impact how you approach clients, colleagues, peers, team members, supervisors and any other relevant stakeholders.

By learning how to develop and foster an authentically positive persona at work, you will improve every aspect of your role. Traditional training and education concentrates on hard skills and technical skills, and tend to neglect the soft skills.

In today’s business world, it’s simply not enough to be technically skilled. Soft skills are increasingly important, and some would argue more important than technical expertise. You can learn how to use a computer programme on the job, particularly if you come already armed with sophisticated soft skills.

Taking wellness skills courses that focus on stress management, resilience and anxiety management are all important for your future career. There is a real shift in focusing on your whole self at work. It’s no longer enough to concentrate solely on deliverables and outputs. By making substantial improvements to your wellbeing and stress levels will help you thrive, even in the most challenging times.

Other skills to learn include:

  • Time management.
  • Productivity without stress.
  • Mastering your ability to focus.
  • Mental resilience.
  • Communication skills.
  • How to listen effectively.
  • Business writing.
  • Decision-making.
  • Thinking strategically.
  • Inclusivity and diversity.
  • Leadership skills.

Have a look at Shaw Academy’s soft skills courses here and see whether any of them will help you develop your career.

Why learning agile project management will boost your career

Agile project management is much in demand by all kinds of project teams, organisations and businesses. This is because of the numerous benefits it brings to the management of any project.

Our Online Project Management Certification & Training course teaches students how to become an agile project manager. The course contains all the learning and skills necessary for graduates to be able to manage projects from start to finish. Armed with these skills, you’ll find it easier to gain the position you want, to move up in your career and bring confidence and aptitude to every project you lead.

Shaw Academy reviews: what do agile project management students say?

As with all of our classes, we use reviews of our courses to refine our course content and ensure we’re delivering everything that students need. Our project management course has taken more than 134,000 students through the four modules of teaching. Past Shaw Academy students say:

“Overall, this course has covered most of the agile concepts in crisp form. I believe with the knowledge and skills I have acquired by taking this course, I will manage projects more professionally.”

“Being a novice at concepts of agile, I came with a very open mind only to find that the information shared in the lessons is easily understood. Very good instruction resources and documentation.”

The project management course is ideal for newcomers to the world of management, and for those who recognise that they need more skills in this area.

7 benefits of being a certified agile project manager

You can find out all the details of the agile course with Shaw Academy here. And if you want to try out the first module, the first four weeks of study are totally free. In the meantime, here are 9 reasons why agile project management improves a company’s bottom line.

  1. Superior quality of product or service

Agile methods ensure that quality remains high by proactively preventing problems and embracing sustainable development methodology. Always using good design and technological excellence and ensuring that the product is constantly going through relevant iterations work towards this. By incorporating daily testing and integration into the development process, the dev team can then deal with problems as they arise. Using automated testing tools overnight ensure that development takes place every day, with any bugs flagged up the next morning. Sprint retrospectives allow the scrum team to constantly improve and enhance their work processes.

  1. More satisfied customers

Agile project management teams keep customers fully engaged ad involved throughout development. The product is always kept updated and prioritised so that change can be managed quickly and the team can demonstrate functionality directly to the client at every sprint review. Products are delivered more quickly to market with each iteration.

  1. Higher morale within the scrum team

Agile project management leads to a self-managing team of people. This allows for creativity, flexibility and innovation. A scrum masterworks to remove any external interference that could get in the way of development, and by working cross-functionally the dev team members can teach others and learn as they go.

  1. Higher levels of ownership and collaboration

Because the product owner, development team and the scrum master or agile project manager all work closely together every day, there are excellent levels of collaboration throughout the project. Daily scrum meetings allow the team to work around future work, potential roadblocks and what’s already finished.

  1. More relevant metrics

Metrics used in agile projects are generally more accurate and useful than in traditional project management. They’re determined by budgets and timelines based on the real-time performance and capabilities of each small team of five to nine devs. The development team itself also provide direct estimates for the requirements of the project. And these estimates are constantly refined every day as the dev team learns more about the project and progresses.

  1. Higher levels of control over the project

There are so many different times that everyone involved can adapt and inspect throughout an agile project. This allows each member of the team, from the developers to the product owner, scrum master and every other stakeholder to control the process and develop superior products.

  1. Reduced risk of failure

Agile techniques essentially eliminate the chances of the project failing. Because the development process takes place in sprints with constant iterations, the success or failure rates are always known. There is a working product right from the very first sprint, ensuring that there is always an end result.

5 of the best graphic designer careers

Online learning has never been more popular with many looking for a new graphic design career. At Shaw Academy, we are experiencing record online student numbers. Some of this growth is directly linked to the global pandemic. With millions of people stuck in lockdown for at least some of 2020, turning to online learning was a logical choice. Working remotely is now the new reality for the corporate world and naturally, people are choosing to supplement their knowledge with online courses.

Diversifying your skillset opens up more potential job opportunities. For experienced graphic designers, there is always something new to learn. And for those considering the sector, an online graphic design course is the ideal way to find out whether it’s truly for you.

What kind of careers can graphic designers move into?
Graphic design is a wide-ranging sector and includes all kinds of job roles across many different industries. It also gives you a chance to work for an agency, whether that’s advertising, PR or comms, or as a freelancer. There is also the option of working in-house for a company within their marketing or advertising team.

If you love creating visually pleasing graphics and enjoy the idea of working in branding, content creation and advertising then graphic design could be ideal. There are so many career options for graphic designers who have the skills, qualification and understanding of the sector.

Ideal for people who need to be creative during their work, and those who love communicating visually, graphic design is an option for just about anyone with a passion for it. Online courses at Shaw Academy include those suitable for total beginners, and plenty for experienced graphic designers looking to top up their skills.

What sort of skills do you need for a graphic designers career?

Many jobs within graphic design demand a wide-ranging skillset. You need to understand the full range of tools and programmes that companies use, and ideally narrow your focus to a few specialisms. If you have the basic core skills then you should consider adding to these with some more related online courses to make your CV as attractive as possible.

Some of the skills that will make you stand out as a graphic designer include:

  • High level of general design skills.
  • Ability to design websites to client specs.
  • Understanding of how to design an effective user interface (UX).
  • Print layout for physical media.
  • The creation of infographics.
  • Creation of graphics that work for different social media channels.
  • Marketing and advertising design skills.
  • Content creation.
  • Packaging design.
  • Branding creation.
  • Design of presentations.
  • Project management,
  • Industrial design.
  • Web development.
  • Back-end coding for websites.


It’s vital to also include the usual soft skills within your arsenal. Graphic designers invariably have to interact with all kinds of people, ranging from clients to editors, project managers and production staff. To excel in a graphic design career, you need to be able to manage these skills too.

5 of the most popular careers for graphic designers

Here are just a few of the career paths available to qualified and experienced graphic designers.

  1. General graphic design for advertising/PR/communications

Whether you work as a freelance graphic designer, in-house or for an agency, there are plenty of broad strokes graphic design roles available. These will generally include many different design elements and often will include print and digital projects. This is an ideal position for entry-level designers, particularly if you’re happy to join an established studio. You can learn an awful lot on the job and refine your design, communication and client liaison skills along the way. Supplement your role with online courses and you’ll have more chance of progressing.

  1. Illustrator

If you look at adverts, magazines, posters and many other forms of communication collateral, you’ll see that there are often illustrative elements as part of the design. Illustrators for graphic design agencies often draw design elements by hand (digitally for the most part) and have a good understanding and command of text-based design and layout design.

  1. Creative or art directors

These are senior level job roles within graphic design. To obtain a position at this level, you will need to already have plenty of design experience along with management skills. You will need to work closely with clients, designers and other stakeholders while strategising along the way. Many of these roles will demand you are willing and able to get stuck in designing when necessary as well as briefing other designers. While you could feasibly work at this level as a consultant or contractor, art director or creative director positions are usually within agencies or in-house for large businesses. The more experience you can demonstrate, the higher the salary that you can command.

  1. Web designer

This is another broad career path for graphic designers. It includes designing every aspect of a website, including the layout, image design, social media graphics, font choice and everything else associated with websites. You’ll often find entry level roles for these positions at agencies and small businesses, and there are plenty of senior level freelancers too.

  1. UX designer

Do you have an innate understanding of how people want to use online platforms? If you do then this could be the right choice for you. It’s a technical graphic design career that needs the designer to understand how to create user-friendly online designs. These designs should look simple and accessible but offer complex usability for people to navigate online systems, platforms and websites.

Study graphic design courses online with Shaw Academy
If you’re starting out in graphic design, the most important thing is to get the right skills under your belt. Shaw Academy graphic design courses for every level. From the basic Graphic Design course to Online Photoshop, Web Design, Budget Graphic Design and Adobe Illustrator.


Here’s how to kickstart your career in property investment

Property investment has long been an attractive sector for people who want to make some money. While it’s categorised as an alternative asset class compared with traditional investing in stocks and shares, property investment is lower risk than others.

For example, if you’re considering jumping into alternative investments such as art, cryptocurrency or fine wine, then you are looking at very high risks along with the possibility of high returns. Property investment, however, offers a more stable and comparatively low risk investment path.

Is now a good time to learn about property investment?
We’re living through difficult economic times around the world because of the pandemic. But property investment remains a positive asset class for investors. As residential and commercial property aren’t traded directly on an exchange, there is some protection for the asset class from the extreme volatility of the market.

If you’re considering whether to branch out and try property investment, online learning is a good option. People who are brand new to property investment should take advantage of a professional course, rather than try to muddle their way through. It may feel tempting to dive right in, but it’s always worth fully understanding the basics before you risk your investments.

The Professional Diploma in Property Investment Programme offered by Shaw Academy covers the complete beginner’s guide to understanding the sector. All of the basics are covered including what you should consider before deciding to go ahead, investment strategies and whether this is the right path for your career. Before we look more closely at the course, here’s some reasons why property investment could be a good choice for you.

Why invest in property anyway?

Whether you invest in property with a view to capital gains when you sell, or to rent it out, you should benefit financially from the investment. Culturally, attitudes towards property ownership differ. For example, in the UK it has long been considered a mark of success, while in other European countries renting is far more accepted as a normal way of life.

In countries like the UK the demand for housing always outstrips supply, leading to constant development and construction. This means plenty of opportunities for investors, and for the past 40 years or so prices have been climbing high. Since 1989, UK house prices have risen by 308% according to the UK House Price Index. If we compare this with the UK stock market that has risen by 228% over the same time period, it’s clear that housing is a good option for investors.

Buying your own house or flat to live in is a form of property investment, as you will likely benefit from the higher value of the property when you decide to sell. But many property investors choose to buy properties to rent out – the buy-to-let market. This gives the investor two ways of making money. They are the increase in value of the house over time, and the regular rental income that will exceed mortgage payments.

Buy-to-let gives you more control as am investor, as it’s up to you when you sell, when you raise the rent and ultimately what the property looks like. If you decide to rent out on a long-term basis then you will have a relatively stable source of income. However, in many countries you need a large deposit in the first place.

For those new to property investment, this initial outlay can be off-putting. In the UK, a typical deposit is 25% of the total price of the property. So, if we look at London, for example, this means the deposit is generally well over £100,000. There is then stamp duty to think about. This is currently on hold due to the pandemic but that won’t last much longer.

Investing in property through real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Many people choose to invest through REITs in the UK. These were introduced in 2007 to open up property investment to more investors. Many of these trusts are listed on the stock market. REITs are particularly attractive because they offer a reliable source of income. This is because they have to distribute 90% of rental income from the properties in question to investors in the form of dividends.

Investors who want to cut the stock market out of their strategy could choose a private property fund instead. These funds collate investors’ money and use it to buy property. The real estate is then managed by a team that takes a fee from the investors. In exchange they offer some of the profit. However, these aren’t an option for most investors as they need huge minimum investment. This makes them primarily an investment option for wealthy people only.

For beginners and those who don’t have access to a large amount of money to start with, there are newer ways to invest in property. Tech platforms over recent years have opened up property investment through crowdfunding and property lending. Crowdfunding allows investors to buy a smaller share of a property along with a group of other small investors. Property lending is when investors get together and loan a pool of money to a person secured against a property they own.

These new property investment platforms open up property investment to people who don’t have a huge stake to invest. However, you do need to know what you’re doing with these platforms, and they are best for those with experience.

This is where studying property investment online can help. By getting the basics under your belt before you invest any money, you will have a much higher chance of making a return.

Shaw Academy’s 16-week property investment course teaches the fundamentals of property investment theory. The modules go on to show you how to apply theory, develop an investment strategy, understand how to make a return, learn about various deals t get started and, crucially, property understand risk management.

All investments come with a certain amount of risk, and it’s no different with property. Take your time, learn the basics and work out the best strategy to get you where you want to go.

Could now be a good time to consider a career in the beauty industry?

Many industries have been hard hit by COVID-19, but it’s been particularly harsh for retail, hospitality and the beauty sector.

Beauty in this context covers everything from skincare to personal care, hair care and makeup. And, of course, it’s been a year of lockdowns followed by a few weeks of semi-normal custom and then back into lockdown for the beauty industry.

It’s a really difficult balance for those making decisions that impact the beauty industry. At a global level the sector generates around £350 billion a year. It employs millions of people. But things are finally looking up, with vaccination programmes kicking in and lockdowns beginning to plan for loosening of restrictions.

When’s the best time to launch a career in the beauty industry?

In the short-term, the industry will reel from the loss in business, but it absolutely will recover. Health and beauty is one of the most resilient sectors in the world. If we go back to the global financial crisis of 2008, spending in the sector dropped very slightly before returning to normal by 2010. There’s not much that can break an industry that involves making people feel and look good.

COVID-19’s economic destruction and impact on retailers and brands will end up being far more than a recession, the beauty industry will remain resilient. In the short term, consumers may be spending less but as soon as salons and beauty treatment clinics open for business this will change.

According to McKinsey, global beauty revenue fell by around 20 to 30% by the end of 2020. Online sales are up around 30% compared with 2019 for major beauty brands, while in-store purchases from essential retailers are generally down. UK consumers say that they intend to spend around 50% less on beauty during the pandemic.

While there has been a decline in makeup and perfume sales, statistics show that there has been a surge in hair care, skin care and bath and body products. This shows that the appetite for the sector is very much out there still, and points towards a comfortable trade for the industry when stores, salons and clinics are reopened on a permanent basis.

Why the beauty industry is traditionally extremely resilient to economic shock

Even with all of the challenges faced by the beauty industry since the pandemic began, the sector is in a stronger position than so many others. COVID-19 will accelerate trends that were already growing before the crisis, with consumers still wanting self-care and a way to make themselves feel and look good.

And all of this is why becoming a beauty professional is an excellent career move. It’s a career in the beauty industry is a path that will ensure you always have skills that are wanted by customers. As it’s a flexible industry, you can decide whether to set up your own beauty business as a sole trader or join a salon to learn more on the job.

When you have the right beauty qualifications and skills, there are so many options. You could end up working in a hotel beauty salon, on a cruise ship, in your local beauty clinic, as a wellness professional. You will never stop learning as techniques and trends emerge, and you’ll be able to forge a career that ensures a future.

Training to be a beauty therapist does take time and it does cost. Depending on your circumstances, you may be in a position to head to college full time. When you study at a college, you will generally also have the opportunity to join a salon for a day a week. This is a great way to truly experience what it’s like working as a beauty therapist and help you to hone your skills.

However, this isn’t the only way to get where you want to go. Shaw Academy has been running online courses taught by our very own educators since 2013. We know that study must be flexible for some people. You can fit our online learning around other work, family or responsibilities. And the first four weeks of any online course with us absolutely free. This means you can complete the first module of any beauty course to find out whether it’s truly for you.

Shaw Academy online beauty courses to start your career in the beauty industry 

Here are some of the online learning beauty courses offered by Shaw Academy:

This course is available to study online with the first module free of charge. It will give you the basic understanding of skin and skincare, from the basics to advanced knowledge. You will understand how to select and use the best products for different skin needs, how to prep the skin, how to apply professional grade makeup, the difference between skin types, sun care for skin and how to enhance lashes and brows.

When you complete the first module, you can move on to the Intermediate, Advanced and Proficiency courses in beauty. By the end of all four modules, you’ll have a professional level knowledge of skin disorders, conditions and structure. You will have makeup techniques under your belt and will understand how to help clients with hormonal skin problems, acne and much more.

You’ll also have learned facial massage, advanced facial electrical treatments, body wraps and massage, hair removal, the basics of manicure and pedicure and how to get started in the beauty business.

This covers more in-depth study of advanced hair removal techniques, advanced makeup skills, nail art and how to apply acrylics, nail tips and gel nails. It also covers complementary beauty treatments including reflexology and aromatherapy massage techniques.

Expect to learn the fundamentals of advanced skincare and how to understand the composition of skincare products. As with all Shaw Academy courses the schedule is flexible, the first four weeks are free and you end up with a globally accredited certificate.

While this is still a beauty course, a different aspect of the sector. It teaches how to develop consulting and business skills, how to analyse clients and help them choose colours and styles, corporate styling and personal shopping and how to carry out a makeover to a professional level.

If your future career plans involve working for yourself with high end clients to create the image they want, then this course will give your career in the beauty industry a great starting point.


Learn the right marketing skills for today’s market

Marketing encompasses so many creative and strategic skills. The sector is always in flux, with new trends taking shape all the time. These are usually based on new technology, which opens up more channels for advertising, PR and marketing.

A successful marketer will understand that the job demands strategic thinking, excellent client skills, an ability to learn fast, empathy, creativity and tech skills. This is why accomplished marketing experts never stop learning.

What marketing skills do you need to acquire for your career?

Most businesses across most sectors need elements of advertising, PR and marketing to succeed. Whether you have plans to join the marketing department of an organisation, work for an advertising or PR agency or go solo as a freelance copywriter, the marketing skills needed are broadly the same.

Marketing professionals help their clients connect with their audiences, which are usually external but can also be internal. They promote brands, find creative ways to communicate about products and send expertly crafted messages using a range of strategic techniques.

Think of marketing itself as the overall process, with PR and advertising and even internal communications as separate internal components. Here are just some of the areas you could work in:

  • Affiliate marketing.
  • Brand management.
  • Communications and public relations (PR).
  • Content marketing.
  • Database analysis and management.
  • Display advertising.
  • Direct marketing.
  • Mobile marketing.


Do you need to get a degree in marketing?

Acquiring the skills needed for a marketing career involves finding a course that suits. While some school leavers get an internship in the marketing department of a company or with an agency, employers tend to gravitate towards candidates that can clearly demonstrate the necessary skills.

This doesn’t necessarily mean getting a degree in marketing or any of the associated subjects. Savvy employers seek out specific attributes, attitudes, skills and work experience. Studying a marketing course that requires excellent communication skills and a creative approach will give you the skills that appeal to employers within marketing. These days, it’s essential to also have the digital skills.

Online marketing courses with Shaw Academy give you the flexibility to slot them in around work experience or complete as soon as possible. Remember that marketing companies and agencies are always looking for people who have the most up-to-date and relevant tech skills. This means getting a handle on everything from website data analytics to search engine optimisation (SEO), creating and making videos, using artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality and much more.

Essential marketing skills you definitely need
Before we look at the Shaw Academy marketing courses available, here are some essential marketing skills that you will definitely need to forge a career in this sector.

1.    Effective communication

Every part of the marketing process and skills you’ll learn is geared around communication. Successful marketing professionals can all communicate not only clearly, but persuasively and skilfully. The messages you craft when you’re marketing a brand or company must be perfectly honed.

They can’t be unclear, muddled or confusing. Learning the level of communication skills needed in marketing is part study and part experience. Taking the right kind of marketing course will set you on your way. Remember that even the best marketing professionals took a while to get this right. Truly understanding what makes communication work in this context means getting under the skin of what doesn’t work. It’s a journey that every creative is on.

2.    High-level writing skills

Whichever aspect of marketing you specialise in, you will be writing. This could include writing advertorials for print magazines, optimised content for web copy, briefs for creatives, social media plans for a brand, e-commerce product copy, leaflet copy, advertising slogans… the list never ends.

Writing to this level is a real skill. You want to be sure that when someone comes across your copy, they should feel persuaded to take action – whether that’s to try a product or follow a business on social media. Any brand engagement starts with writing.

3.    Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing may not be complex to learn, it takes time to learn how to use it effectively. SEM changes all the time, and building a solid foundation of understanding gives you the best chance of evolving with it.

4.    Understanding web content

Over the years, website content has become far more complex and diverse. It’s now a skill base al of its own. Web content isn’t just about the copy on a page, but all kinds of other content. This means everything from blogs to social media channels, infographics to podcasts and promotional videos to Twitch streams. Effective marketers know all the tricks of effective and successful web content and aren’t afraid to be creative and bold.

  1. Using social media effectively

These days social media is linked to every move a marketer makes, whether working for a huge brand or a small business. The chances are the main target demographic for most marketers is part of one of the major social media platforms, whether that’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or newly emerging channels.

This means it’s vital for marketers to understand how to use social media channels, platforms and tools of all kinds.

Learn the marketing skills you need with Shaw Academy online courses

At Shaw Academy we offer six marketing courses. They are:

  • Digital marketing – One of the most popular courses according to Shaw Academy reviews, this covers the different marketing channels and strategies needed, how to apply the skills you’ve learned and how to create a strategy based on a brand’s needs.
  • Social media marketing – Teaching how to build and launch a social media strategy that works, including analysis.
  • Creative writing – This certified writing course teaches how to enhance existing writing skills and learn how to write for publications of all kinds.
  • SEO and digital marketing Fundamentals – Key skills needed to understanding SEO and digital marketing and how to apply this knowledge into an overall strategy.
  • Blogging, content marketing and vlogging 101 – Learn the skills necessary to become a professional level marketer, including content marketing and how to blog well.
  • Viral marketing – Learn what goes into a successful viral marketing campaign and create content that’s guaranteed to go viral.

Browse the whole course catalogue for other online learning courses that cover creative skills. You get the first four weeks of any of our courses absolutely free, so it’s always worth trying the first module of a course that you think could take your career further.

Think it’s too late to change your career? Read on…

Changing careers is part of the modern working world. Long gone are the days when you’re expected to pick a job straight out of university or college and stick with it for life.

And while some lucky people get it right first time, many others find themselves in a role that no longer suits. If this is you, perhaps it’s because you fell into a job when years ago and feel stuck. Or perhaps you studied a specific subject such as law, and then decided it’s not for you. It can – and does – happen to anyone. But luckily, with some careful planning, it’s possible to successfully change your career whatever your age or experience.

When’s the best time to change your career?

Whether you’re heading into middle age, creeping close to retirement or just know that your current role is not right for you, changing your career is always possible. People do it all the time. It’s just a question of careful planning and plenty of research.

There is no perfect time to make the transition to a different career. The older you are, the more likely it is that you understand your key strengths. But it’s a reasonable step to take even if you’ve only been working for a few years. Life is short, and work takes up much of our time. It should be something that you find fulfilling, interesting and stimulating. And if it isn’t, maybe it’s time you made the change.

However, most of us have dependents, a mortgage and other financial and social commitments. Later in life, you’ll have far more commitments than when you left school or college, whether it’s kids, elderly parents, extended family or simply a mortgage and bills.

While we’re not suggesting you ditch your responsibilities and take a blind leap of faith, it’s important not to let this stop you from planning a career change. It’s about ensuring everything is place before you take the step.

Don’t give in to a kneejerk reaction

If you’ve been unhappy in your current career for a while, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind. Resist the urge to hand your notice in and immediately start something completely new. Slow down and work out why you truly want to change career paths. Are you bored? Do you feel your role isn’t fulfilling your potential? Is it because you feel stuck in a rut?

It’s always a good plan to analyse yourself to find out why you want to change career. If you find yourself keen to better use your strengths, knowledge and expertise or you can see a more interesting and fulfilling career path elsewhere, then you’re on your way.

If you want to relaunch your career after having a child, for example, think carefully about the reasons behind this. Perhaps you feel a different role and career path would mean you make more money or feel better emotionally – or both. Whatever your reasons, you want to make as smooth a change a possible and understand the ups and downs ahead.

5 things to think about before changing career

  1. Talk to your family or friends

If you have dependents make sure you talk to your family or friends. Commitments must be addressed and of course any change you make to your career could very well impact them. Explain clearly why it’s important for you to make a change and why you think your chosen path will bring more growth opportunities.

  1. Ensure your finances are in place

To successfully transition your career, you will either need to start right at the bottom of the rung or work while studying. Training costs money, particularly if you want to gain specific qualifications. Even when you have your certificates, diploma or degree, you may have to effectively begin all over again – at least for a short time.

It’s unlikely that your first role in your new industry or career will bring in the same amount of money you were earning before. So, it’s likely that your income will drop for a period of time, which means you need everything in order as far as possible.

Ideally, we’d suggest saving enough to cover around six to 12 months of living expenses before you make the big change. It will help you relax enough to learn about your new role, sector and career without worrying about the bills.

  1. Be honest with yourself about your strengths

You’re unlikely to have all the time in the world to explore lots of different options. To make the most of the experience you already have, try and choose a role and career sector that uses the strengths you know you have.

This means not jumping into the latest trend or opting for something on the basis that it seems ‘interesting’. Spend some time really thinking about your strengths, and what you can bring to a new role. Which of these are the most marketable for new industries? Use what you already have to ensure you can hit the ground running.

  1. Find out about the new industry

Before you make the leap, talk to people who already work in the sector you have in mind. Use LinkedIn and online networking to find out from people what it’s like working in that sector. Find out what they do day in and day out and think about whether you can see yourself doing the same.

What sort of skillset do you need for the role and does this match your current skills and experience? If not, what kind of training do you need and how can you ensure you achieve the qualifications necessary? Next, look at the potential of the role or sector – is there enough room for you to grow or will you find yourself stuck again in five years?

  1. Organise the training and learning you need

Sign up for online courses, enrol in college or embark on a degree. The amount of studying you need for your new career obviously depends on how close it matches your current experience level. You may find that you need a couple of modules, or it might be necessary to take a full college course.

It can feel frightening to change careers. But if you’re doing it for the right reasons and you take the time to plan it all out, you will be much more fulfilled. Transitioning into a new industry, role or sector could be just what you need to fulfil your potential.