OK, I am trying to get a job for a year now in Europe. The thing is that every company ask for f..... Corel Draw. The reason is that Corel Draw can be bought once and the companies do not want to pay every month. You really screw this up with the monthly payments and possibly lost many customers in favor of Corel, Quark, and some open-source Apps.
There are a few ways to look at it. Adobe constantly updates their apps, corrects bugs and as new features. Probably more so than any other company. So therefore in my eyes being a member of the Creative Cloud has superior advantages.
The other issue when it comes to FREE software is that you 'yourself' become the product. Some not all, but some FREE software has ulterior motives for being free such as data collection. Thus, I am always careful what free apps I install. This is something I learned quickly working with companies in their marketing department that produces free apps.
Another thing is, before Adobe became subscription based there were tons of hacked copies out there. Which from a business perspective is not good. Plus, since Adobe really does put a lot of time in working with creatives to beta test products and updates in order to give you an amazing piece of software that fits the needs/desires of creatives it makes more sense from a business stand-point to protect their product. This is my personal opinion.
In the long run, if you view think about all the development that goes into Adobe products (which I think sometimes we as users forget about) the cost is worth it. Again just my personal opinion. In the end you, get what you pay for. If you go the free route then there simly is not an as many features, and updates tend to come out slower. Then like I mentioned above, you have to think out free-ware companies are making money... like I said, it coud be because you are becoming the product and your data is not as safe. So I would rather have the passion that Adobe has for creating superior software and feel safe knowing that they keep my data safe. Again, my opinion.
Just one question: why would I ever want to give Adobe or any other company my data? I am proficient in a few Adobe software but in Europe, fewer and fewer companies like to subscribe forever. Therefore no jobs for Adobe designer. And unfortunately, Corel is coming a big way although I can stand it.
Nobody said you have to use Adobe products. But consider this: Many design agencies use Adobe Creative Cloud products. All things being equal, applicants who are proficient with tools the agency uses are more likely to get hired, right?
Your first sentence does not deserve the comment. I am talking about more and more small companies are NOT using Adobe because of the subscription. Not everyone can work in an agency and If I have to choose I wouldn't work there eider.