I'm a mathematician and I used LaTeX a lot during my student days for taking lecture notes and finally for writing my thesis. We don't need much in terms of computer skills, but LaTeX is an unspoken but absolute requirement. Anything else and you will be laughed out of the faculty. I did on some occasions use Markdown and Pandoc when I was giving a presentation, it allowed me to write my talk in Markdown once and have it exported to a nice presentation PDF (using Beamer) and and a handout sheet, both of which had the exact same content but adequate formatting for each one. That was really nice.
I use Vim for writing and Zathura for display, both running at the same time. Zathura can update live as the PDF changes, and I use a makefile so I don't have to enter the entire compile command manually. I used to use TeXShop when I was still a Mac user, it was nice for someone who didn't know what he was doing, but dropping it was for the better. However, now that I have a Pajeet tier job I don't get to use it anymore, whenever I have to write something Markdown or reStructuredText is just good enough
>I use and evangelize LaTeX quite a bit, the latter among people at my degree (physics), which, believe it or not, most are still using Word. I guess being a lemming sucks ass. Still, I managed to make some inroads.
It's a shame because I think at least in academic use it should be an absolute requirement. I don't expect grandma to start using LaTeX, but I think someone with an academic should be expected to have the brain capacity to step out of his comfort zone little.
And it's not really hard to learn. I took a one-week course at my university after my first or second semester, and it was pretty nice and chill. As I said above, originally I used a special LaTeX environment, but over time as I learned more and more about Unix, the command line, version control, makefiles and so on, I was able to reap more and more benefits from my one initial investment. With Word you get one thing and that's it, it does not mix well with other tools.
By the end I was able to write my entire thesis in LaTeX, I even drew the graphics entirely in code using TikZ/pgf, added program source code, managed my bibliography and did all of that from the command-line. LaTeX can be a bitch at times, but once you get it under control it's a tool with surgical precision.