Yeah, php is not included in my course ether. I was all exited about learning Flash, Dreamweaver and other stuff. Than one night I've read whole w3schools course about JS and I was pretty exited about it. I talked to couple people in programming industry, and they suggested to learn php, and gave me couple books suggestions, which I am reading right now.
All though, php has one small issue when it gets to advanced apps. It can not process data with out software that would send it back to php (maybe I am wrong?).
So you can't really write an application in php that would scan the server and would pull all needed info (maybe I am wrong to).
php is the most useful thing I've learned this year I have to say