I wanted to ask if third party graphics softwares can be as effective as photoshop or not? Photoshop is quite tough to learn.
Your question is very vague. As effective as Photoshop at what? There are plenty of programmes that will enable you to do much the same kind of things as Photoshop, but as with any tool, you will need to spend time learning them if you want to get the best out of them. What is it that you want to achieve?
If the reason that you don't want to use Photoshop is that it's too hard to learn, then my response would be to just work at it. I think that the large majority of the people that you talk to (here or otherwise) will agree that Photoshop is the most powerful graphics editing suite available. I would recommend putting in the effort to learn it.
OTOH, programs like GIMP and Inkscape are useful for similar purposes, as well.
Photoshop is very highly related mostly due to its wide range of functions. It really depends what do you need the software for. If it just personal use you should ACDsee (for example) but if you want to work in this field, Photoshop is the only way to go. Overall I think you will be happy if you choose to learn it (no matter how hard it is at first).