Saturday, March 14, 2009

Updating Skills for Less

A while back I discussed taking a class to improve my skills in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop so that I can be more marketable in my field.

I did some research and came up with 3 options.

1. Take a class at the local university
Cost - Illustrator : $190 for intro class and $215 for advanced class
Photoshop : $190 for intro, $205 for intermediate, $215 for advanced 1 and $215 for
advanced 2
Total - $1230

2. Take home course with Penn Foster
Cost - Illustrator: $535
Photoshop: $738
Total - $1273
Software included

3. Buy books and teach myself
Cost - $350
Total - $350
This total is if I bought all 6 books I found that I could use to teach myself.
Some of the books are specific to fashion.

There are pros and cons to all 3 options

1. With options 1 and 3 I would need to purchase Photoshop ($700) on top of paying for the classes.

2. With option 1 I would have to pay for the extra gas to drive to the school, parking and I would have to change my work schedule because the classes are during the day.

3. With options 1 and 2 I would probably need to buy some of the above mentioned books because they are specific to fashion.

4. With option 2 once the course is complete I will earn a certificate. With option 2 I would have to take 9 courses to earn a certificate.

The question many of you are probably thinking is

How am I going to pay for any of this?

If I go with option 2 I can pay monthly
If I go with option 3 I can buy one book at a time (I could also buy them cheaper at or Amazon)

What should I do?


  1. I would go for the university class. It's something you can geniuinley add to your resume and therefore more valuable IMHO. I do side work for my company with PhotoShop and I had them buy me the program in place of the first month's payment. You could try doing that if you can take the class with the school's computers - that way everyone wins - businesses can write it off as a business expense and you get a free, very valuable program!

  2. You can get a college student or someone who works at the university to buy photoshop for you . I work in my schools bookstore , and photoshop is waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy cheaper for us as students - for example Adobe Master collection is 950 .... but for us its $503 . I would look into going that route