Like many aspiring Graphic Designers, Digital Marketers, and User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) Designers, you might want to learn Adobe but worry that it will take too much time. Adobe applications can be complex, and it can take the average user three months to learn each one. Of course, this depends on several factors. And once you understand the workspace of one application, you’ll see the similarities in additional applications. Read on to find out how you can learn Adobe and discover resources that may help speed the process.
What is Adobe?
Adobe Creative Cloud is a computer software application that allows users access to all the different Adobe programs. Creative design and marketing professionals typically use it to create content for print, video, or online distribution. You can find professionals in nearly every industry that uses Adobe Creative Cloud, including advertising, website design, and video editing.
At the center of the creative community, Adobe Creative Cloud connects creativity with collaboration, as the cloud-based systems allow you to share work with fellow creatives and work from anywhere. Adobe’s spectrum of programs allows you to edit photos, create stunning digital designs, build websites, and edit videos. Adobe Creative Cloud stores all your programs under the same roof, allowing you to switch easily between programs as needed. Using Creative Cloud can also introduce you to new programs you have not used before to help upgrade your career.
Read more about what Adobe is and why you should learn it.
What Can You Do with Adobe?
Adobe Creative Cloud is a one-stop shop for all creative projects, and several applications are industry leaders for creative software. Adobe has over 20 applications, though typically, when referring to Adobe Creative Cloud, people think of the top five most popular; After Effects, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro. However, Adobe Creative Cloud has much more to explore.
Adobe offers applications to fit every project, from allowing users to view and edit PDF files to designing and publishing web pages. The top five applications allow users to edit photos and videos, create visual effects and motion graphics, and create page layouts, typography, and illustrations. With other programs like Adobe Spark, users can create social media or web content directly from their computer or phone. Dreamweaver allows users to publish web pages with a simplified code engine. Adobe Aero focuses on the world of augmented reality. There are endless possibilities for creating with Adobe Creative Cloud.
Average Time it Takes to Learn Adobe
It is challenging to learn any Adobe application, and a first look at the Adobe interface can be intimidating. On average, it takes about three months of extensive training to become proficient in one application. However, it could take between a month and a year to thoroughly learn an application, depending on its complexity. But much of that learning is through regular use of the application. These time estimates are “on average” and will vary with the individual. Not surprisingly, the more complex the application, the longer it will take to learn.
Learning time for different people varies for several reasons, including prior experience, the reason for learning, speed of learning, and method of learning. These factors determine how long an individual will take to learn one or more applications.
If you have worked with an Adobe application or similar applications in the past, it will be easier for you to learn the different applications. Previous experience eliminates the need to learn fundamentals at the beginning of each application, which can be time-consuming. There is no need to learn each tool and its location if you already have experience. You may need to spend some time reacquainting yourself with the program, but this will take much less time than if you were starting at ground zero.
Reason for Learning
Someone learning Photoshop or Premiere Pro for personal use may not need to learn the complex features of the applications, which will make learning that much faster. However, someone learning the applications for professional use will spend more time becoming proficient with those features. Simultaneously learning multiple applications will also add to the total time.
Everyone’s learning speed is different; some have a greater aptitude for learning software and will pick it up more quickly. Some prefer a slower learning pace, while others like to get a handle on the basics, then jump right into the application and learn more as they go. And people who have limited time each day or each week to learn Adobe will require more time than those without such constraints.
Method of Learning
How you learn an application will significantly affect how quickly you learn it. Teaching yourself will take much longer than taking a course led by an expert instructor.
Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost
Adobe Creative Cloud holds over 20 applications for users to download and use for their creative projects. Learning these Adobe programs can be challenging for those new to the software, and it requires time and patience to master each application. Users can learn multiple programs at once and become proficient in each. So while it may initially seem too complicated, users have various options to make learning easier.
Before jumping in head first to learn the complexities of Adobe Creative Cloud, beginners with the software should have some other versatile skills that will help them be successful from the start. Beginners should understand their computer's capabilities to ensure it can run Adobe Creative Cloud. Knowing how to navigate a computer system makes it easier to learn the software. Those interested in current design trends can also limit their learning to the applications used to create those designs. For example, designs in a hand-drawn style would require Adobe Illustrator as opposed to Photoshop.
Adobe offers subscriptions for all of the applications available. Depending on the program, these subscriptions can range from $10 to $55 monthly. It’s wise to choose only the applications you want to use instead of paying for all of them right off the bat.
Read about how difficult it is to learn Adobe.
Watch a Free Adobe Online Course
Free introductory Adobe courses are a great start if you want to learn a new skill but are too busy to take an entire course. Noble Desktop offers several free seminars covering various topics. To get started with Adobe, check out the Intro to Adobe Creative Cloud seminar, where students receive an overview of the software and its applications.
Noble Desktop is not the only provider offering free Adobe courses. Udemy offers several courses that cover a variety of design skills as well as a few Adobe applications. Coursera offers beginner courses in several Adobe applications. Through Coursera, students can audit longer courses for free, including a course on graphic design fundamentals. However, if those options do not work for you, there are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube for each Adobe application. When going through these video tutorials, focus on the most recent uploads to ensure you learn the most up-to-date software and trends, as Adobe updates regularly.
Read about more free Adobe videos and online tutorials.
Learning Adobe is challenging but worthwhile. While, on average, it can take three months to learn one application, various factors can flex that time frame from a month to a year. There are ways to speed up the time it takes to learn each application, like coming at it with prior experience, devoting more time to learning, and enrolling in expert instructor-led courses. However long it takes, learning Adobe applications is an accomplishment!
Learn Adobe with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop
Noble Desktop provides several Adobe Creative Cloud Classes that meet any schedule or learning style. Participants have the option to attend in-person courses at Noble's campus in Manhattan, or they can opt to take courses virtually from anywhere in the world. Each option has students working closely with expert instructors in small groups. Noble also provides a free retake option within one year, allowing students additional time and opportunities to hone their skills without paying for another course.
Learning Adobe Creative Cloud can be daunting; however, the Intro to Adobe CC Bootcamp is available for students who want to learn only a few applications quickly. This course covers several Adobe applications, introducing students to Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and After Effects. Students use each application to work through real-world exercises and projects. For those with a little more time on their hands who want in-depth training on more programs, the longer Adobe Creative Cloud Bootcamp devotes more time to work with each application.
Additional options are available for those looking for more career-oriented learning. The Graphic Design Certificate dives into Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, while covering concepts surrounding the graphic design career. For more training on using Adobe programs to design web or mobile interfaces, there is the UI Design Certificate. As part of this course, you will work closely with Photoshop and Illustrator. In addition to learning the programs for your field of interest, you will develop a portfolio to send to potential employers.