Is it Worth Learning Photoshop? Yes! Here’s Why!

Anything that’s difficult is always worth learning. Most people will throw in the towel, if you can persevere, you’ll be more skilled than most. Let’s look at what’s involved in learning Photoshop.

Photoshop is only restricted by creativity. It can be difficult to navigate but intuitive with other Adobe products.

As a graphic designer for 25+ years, I probably first started using Photoshop way back when it was first introduced in 1990. A lot has changed since then, including how accessible apps have become. Let’s see what Photoshop has to offer and is it worth learning.

What is Photoshop?

Photoshop is ultimately an Image Editing program with a lot more attached. According to Adobe – ‘It will bring your artwork to life!’

Its capabilities are not entirely infinite but it certainly will elevate your creativity. Its main capabilities include cropping and resizing, color management, adding illustration to images, removing unwanted elements (from specks to objects), adding text, and adding layers.

There are numerous filters and effects available but getting to grips with the basics first is important.

Firstly, you need to decide what it is you’re going to use Photoshop for. This will then determine how in-depth you need to go with your learning.

What Are You Going to Do With Photoshop?

There are many reasons that people decide to learn Photoshop. These include Career Path changes to elevating a hobby. If you are pursuing a Graphic Design (or really any kind of creative career) then it’s definitely worth looking at Photoshop.

Graphic Design

If you are thinking of Graphic Design as a career, or as a college course you’re going to have to learn the Creative Cloud Suite (or at least some of it). Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. They are the industry standard and although there are many other contenders, there are none that can fully compete in range with Adobe.

The good thing to know is that by learning one you are intuitively learning the basics of many of the suites as they all interact together.

Many jobs today, expect that the knowledge of apps and packages is there. Even as a Marketer you must know the basics in order to get your point across to the designer.

Web Designer

Although many Graphic Designers are also Web Designers, not all Web Designers are Graphic Designers. We kind of fell into the web role when websites became less code-driven. If you are thinking of going the web route, it is a much more user-friendly route than once was. But you still will want images, diagrams, and graphics on sites you develop and if you have knowledge of Photoshop, your job will be much easier, and you will be able to charge more.


Photoshop was originally designed to aid photographers. It was the brainchild of the Knoll brothers, who through their father, had a keen interest in both photography and technology.

Photoshop allows photographers to take an image and make it fabulous. If the light is not what you had hoped for on the day, or there was a speck of dust on the lens. All of this can now be edited in Photoshop. Pre photoshop that would have meant abandoning the shoot due to poor light or a retake. But now with a bit of wizardry, most photos and images can be saved and made to look amazing.


Maybe you’re not a designer or pro photographer. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn Photoshop. It just means you don’t have to learn as in-depth (if you don’t want to).

Teach Yourself vs Lessons

We have become so accustomed to finding everything at our fingertips in the digital world but which is better? 

Teaching yourself

There are many options available both free and paid, but I would always recommend throwing yourself in at the deep end and having a play around. Even if you decide to get lessons it’s good to have some basics under your belt. The best way to do this is within the app itself.

We have become so accustomed to finding everything at our fingertips in the digital world but which is better? 

When you open the app scroll to Help – Hands-On Tutorials

Here you can select all kinds of tutorials that will teach you beginners basics to more intricate tasks.


If you feel you get more from listening to someone (I sometimes feel that by watching someone I can understand topics better) you can still do this from the comfort of your own home. If the 2019 pandemic has given us anything positive, it’s given us the gift of Zoom and Online Learning.

As I say, with so much available online, I don’t think you’ll be stuck. You can go at your own pace and work at different aspects in your own time.

However, there is also the option of going to traditional classes that teach Photoshop. In my opinion, you’re not going to get any more from in-class teaching than online teaching but it depends on what kind of learner you are. You may prefer to be able to ask questions and interact with a tutor.

How Much Is Worth It?

Now that we have established it is worth learning. The question is, ‘Is it worth the cost?’

Adobe Creative Cloud is a subscription-only app suite. This means that you either pay monthly or annually. You get so much in return for your sub that it’s definitely worth the outlay. The whole suite costs $20.99 – $52.99 per month or $599.88 annually. 

Creative Cloud Pricing

If you are only interested in Photoshop then you can pay for this as a standalone for $20.99 per month. 

Adobe offers plenty of options for Students and Teachers. They have huge discounts for the suite and individual packages.

You need to decide how much you are going to be using it and is a monthly subscription going to be worth it.

I would say ‘Yes’ if you are furthering your career but I would say no initially (if you are an amateur photographer).

Every Adobe product can be trialed for 7 days, which is also something to consider before you take the plunge.

What is the Alternative?

If the cost is putting you off I’d recommend you look at Photoshop Express. It’s still part of the Adobe suite but it’s free to download. There are limitations to what you can achieve but it’s certainly a good starting point. It can be upgraded for a small cost per month.

Adobe Lightroom is another option at $12.29 per month. However, it’s not in the same league as its bigger sibling. Lightroom is more of a processing app, with limited editing capabilities.

If you feel after you’ve played with Photoshop in the trial that it’s not for you, there are non-Adobe options available.

One of these is Krita. This is an open-source app with an incredible amount of in-app options available. It is generated and upgraded by users and so is quite competitive.

Unfortunately, Krita files can’t interact with Adobe products but if you don’t interact with external sources, Krita can work very well for you.

In Conclusion

Photoshop is definitely worth learning. The capabilities are only constrained by your creativity. Once you learn Photoshop you’ll want to learn the whole suite. Go and get started! What are you waiting for?!

You may also find the following posts helpful:

Which Adobe should I learn first?

Can Photoshop open Krita?

Photoshop won’t save

Tara Cunningham

My name is Tara. I am a Graphic Designer for the last 25+ years. Designing everything from Wedding stationery to Magazines. I have been using Adobe products since I was in college and know all the tips and tricks that make life a little easier when completing a project. Hopefully you will find the answer to your question on

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