Adobe Training Options: Comparison


There are a variety of options available for learning how to use Photoshop or Illustrator or Dreamweaver or any of the other Adobe products. As a trainer for over 15 years, I’ve experienced the various options from the trainer perspective and have observed students thrive in one setting and not the other.

If you are considering training, you will want to choose the option that not only gives you the most bang for your buck, but also provides a learning environment that matches how you best learn.

Below are some of the various options I’ve come across, along with the  advantages and disadvantages for each setting.


Setting: Classroom, 2-10 students, led by trainer
Best for: professionals, very computer literate, learns quickly, likes more of a fast pace
Examples: (national), (local)

  • instructor readily available
  • can ask specific questions
  • focused/dedicated time
  • hands-on
  • usually small class size
  • exposed to real-world examples (instructor usually has experience in the industry and the students are often already using the software at their job)
  • potential for significant differences in skill level – can result in too slow or too fast-paced class
  • can be overwhelming, lots of information in a short period of time

Community Colleges

Setting: Classroom, usually 8-20 students, led by trainer
Best for: individuals not yet in the career field but wanting to get into a career/job position that uses the software
Examples:  your local community college

  • can get one-on-one help
  • instructor available
  • extended period of time to learn the software allows for lots of  ‘practice’
  • hands-on (usually these classes are held in a lab)
  • often offers different levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  • longer period of time (class may be for 8 or 16 weeks)

Online Subscription Services

Setting: subscription-based service (weekly, monthly, or annual) gives you access to training videos
Best for: self-disciplined/motivated individuals, can learn easily on your own

  • learn at your own pace
  • available anytime
  • can cover from basic to advanced
  • no instructor available
  • no other students to learn/interact with


Setting: DVDs, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
Best for: self-disciplined/motivated individuals, can learn easily on your own
Examples:,, DVDs available at numerous sites

  • videos available anytime
  • can pick and choose which modules you want to watch
  • free (youtube, vimeo, etc.)
  • can watch it over and over
  • can cover all levels
  • instructor not available to ask questions (although with the internet, this can be done within forums, linked in groups, etc.)
  • no ‘live’ interaction with instructor/students


Setting: instructor/trainer leads seminar/webinar, performs ‘live’ demo, can be either an onsite seminar or an online webinar
Best for: people who have only minimal time for training, familiar enough with software that a demo (without hands on) is enough
Examples: Scott Kelby, Ben Wilmore, gotowebinar

  • see it being done within the software package
  • instructor is ‘available’ – to a degree
  • usually lots of valuable information presented in a short period of time
  • can be hundreds of attendees
  • recording of video/seminar may or may not be available after the fact

I’m sure there are more options and more advantages and disadvantages within the options listed above.

What has been your experience with training? What’s your favorite type of training?

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