The other day my friend wanted to make a chicken recipe that suggested the use of an iron skillet. He did have one and wanted to know if he really realllllyyyyy needed one. A cast iron skillet is a really durable item that can withstand high high temperatures for very long time. The short answer is no, not for a beginner. If you have limited time, money, and are still building up your skills and kitchen tools. This chicken recipe was pretty labor intensive so if you aren't the type to be sitting down and doing these slow cooked meals often, then just use a regular skillet for these rare occasions.
One important thing to remember is that you have to treat the skillet right. Its not like your non-stick pan from Walmart (no hate, that's what usually use) where you can leave an egg on there and burn it into the pan but eventually it'll come off. With a skillet you have "season it" which means you have to create the non-stick surface. You can do it by follow these instructions.
Eventually, when you do have a set of great kitchen items and want to step your kitchen game especially with old fashioned, labor of love recipes, then maybe throw down the $35 for the skillet. My friend did make the recipe and it was delicious, proving that for a beginner, the skillet isn't necessary if you're an attentive, careful chef.
Here are some great options for pans and skillets:
This is the stainless steel pan I use that's a little more fancy but perfect for everything from Williams and Sonoma.
This non stick pan is very versatile and the company, EarthPan, promises their product won't poison you.
Cast Iron Skillet from Emeril for 25$