There is hope though for people who do not want to invest so much money for GIS knowledge. The GIS Lounge has the article How to Go from GIS Novice to Pro without Spending a Dime and a list of free GIS software. There is also a nice introduction to qGIS with links for more information.
GIS is still a growing industry and many, if not all, geographers will use it at least occasionally to make maps or conduct spatial research. I highly recommend geographers learn a GIS program to gain research abilities and to build one's resume.