I'm a 59-year old Mechanical Engineer living in Southern California, employed in the Aerospace industry. I think I obtained a copy of PhotoImpact at some point bundled with HTML editing software, and after playing with it for a while, pretty much dismissed it as an overcomplicated photo editor.
I was noodling around the ULEAD site, and found a list of PhotoImpact tutorials available on-line at Stephanie Baker-Thomas's website. When I visited, I also noticed that she teaches on-line courses in both basic uses of PhotoImpact and Photo Editing using PhotoImpact. I signed up for both. I was amazed at the breadth and flexibility of this software!
But there were two more PhotoImpact courses available at the same location! I signed up for those, and rapidly found myself in over my head! These classes taught me to create realistic 3D-looking objects by manipulating simple rectangles, and using the various 2-D functions provided.
I was introduced to the free on-line Beginner's Workshop. To complete it, I had to submit 96 different projects (with a max of 2 a day!) to the satisfaction of my assigned mentor. She must not have been looking as closely as she might have, because I got through -- and in the process, had to learn to use all sorts of capabilities of the program I never knew existed!
Finally, I took two more classes in path objects, with a slightly different slant from the earlier ones (more use of 3D and presets, but the result had to look almost exactly like the sample to show that the student hadn't taken any shortcuts. (Hey! I took a few in order to avoid completely re-doing stuff -- I learned to hide some of what I'd done in the earlier courses I'd taken!)
Since then, I've been submitting projects in response to the various challenges on the Boards, which keeps me busy (and keeps me learning!).