Substance Designer is indeed a program used to procedurally generate tileable textures, but that's not all. These modular materials you make can then be directly imported into Unity 5, Unreal, and Substance Painter. Want to paint a dragon but just can't find any dragon materials online? Then you make it yourself!
Some friends at my college said you can get a student version even if are not in college by saying you are a at home student. The big AAA developers use Substance Designer and Substance Painter so I highly recommend getting it.
As for Maya, well... It is awful at modelling in comparison to Blender. It has no modifier system so it is super destructive. However, it has the best UV tools and animation tools I have seen.