Is becoming a desktop publisher right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do desktop publishers do?
Career Satisfaction
Are desktop publishers happy with their careers?
What are desktop publishers like?

Still unsure if becoming a desktop publisher is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a desktop publisher or another similar career!

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How to become a Desktop Publisher

To become a desktop publisher, follow these steps to acquire the necessary education, skills, and practical experience:

  • Educational Background: Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. Focus on courses in graphic design, computer science, and English, as these will provide a strong foundation for a career in desktop publishing. While a degree is not always mandatory, acquiring formal education can enhance your skills and job prospects. Consider pursuing an Associate or Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design, Visual Communication, Desktop and Web Publishing, or a similar discipline.
  • Develop Technical Skills: Gain proficiency in desktop publishing software such as Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, and other relevant tools. Familiarize yourself with graphic design principles, typography, and color theory.
  • Build a Portfolio: Create a portfolio showcasing your desktop publishing projects. Include a variety of materials such as brochures, flyers, newsletters, and digital layouts. A strong portfolio is crucial when seeking employment or freelance opportunities.
  • Internships or Entry-Level Positions: Seek internships or entry-level positions to gain hands-on experience. This will provide practical insights into the industry, allow you to work with professionals, and build a network within the field.
  • Networking: Join professional organizations such as the Graphic Artists Guild or the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Networking can open doors to job opportunities and collaborations with other professionals in the industry.
  • Freelancing or Building a Career: Decide whether you want to work as a freelancer or pursue a full-time position. Freelancing allows for flexibility but requires self-promotion and client management skills. Seeking employment with design studios, publishing houses, or advertising agencies provides stability and opportunities for career growth.

Obtaining relevant certifications can enhance your credibility and demonstrate your proficiency in desktop publishing tools and techniques. Here are some certifications you may consider:

  • Adobe Certified Associate (ACA): The Adobe Certified Associate program offers certifications for various Adobe software, including Adobe InDesign, which is widely used in desktop publishing. Earning an ACA certification validates your skills in using Adobe InDesign for creating layouts and designs.
  • QuarkXPress Certified User: QuarkXPress, another popular desktop publishing software, offers certification programs. Becoming a QuarkXPress Certified User demonstrates your proficiency in using the software for layout design and publishing tasks.
  • Certification in Electronic Publishing (CEP): Offered by the Graphic Communications Education Association (GCEA), the Certification in Electronic Publishing is designed for professionals involved in electronic publishing and desktop publishing. It covers skills related to layout, design, and electronic publishing technologies.
  • Certification in Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing (GDDP): This certification is provided by the International Association of Professions Career College. It covers a range of skills related to graphic design, including desktop publishing. Completing the certification program can enhance your credentials in the field.
  • Professional Association Memberships: While not certifications per se, joining professional associations such as the Graphic Artists Guild or the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) can provide access to resources, networking opportunities, and events that contribute to your professional development.