There are different market niches for design services, and different tools for each niche. I specialize in designing catalogs that have thousands of pieces. I usually have multiple projects going simultaneously, emails coming in and proofs going out constantly. I’ve got a big computer on a 6x4 work table, dual monitors, external back ups. I need to quickly bounce back and forth between Indesign, PS, AI, Acrobat, Word, Excel, Bridge. All these programs are interconnected in the workflow. I can’t imagine designing catalogs on a tablet. It would be a nightmare. Even if it were technically possible, it would be slow, and time is money.
Now, if you wanted to specialize in certain types of illustration or digital painting, then all your work is going to be in one program, and maybe you’re producing work exclusively for stock, so you don’t really need to deal with client communication… a tablet could be ideal. It all depends on what niche you are going to serve as a designer.
General tip for university… if you are going to a real university and not something like Trump University or a place on the second floor of a strip mall that calls itself a university… all of your instructors are required to keep a minimum number of office hours every week, where they are available to their students. Most students don’t take advantage of that until late in the semester when they have a crisis and can’t get work done and need to plead for an extension. Make a habit of meeting with your instructors early and often. Don’t waste their time by asking them to summarize the reading they assigned to you that you didn’t bother to do. Ask them questions about the industry, internships, recommended reading, career advice, supplemental learning activities you could do. Engage them about the state of your portfolio. Ask them to think of you if they hear of any entry-level jobs in the field.
Real universities will also have career centers, where there are counselors, and lots of entry level job postings. I think most students think of that as a place to go during their final year. No. Start using it during freshman year so you have an idea about job prospects in specific industries.