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Why Everyone Needs to Know Desktop Publishing

Make More Money. Save Money. Get Better Grades.


Young man working on laptop computer
Jim Franco/Stone/Getty Images
Knowing how to do desktop publishing can help you make more money, help you save money, and even help you get better grades in school. And you don't have to be a freelance desktop publisher or have a job doing primarily desktop publishing. You don't even have to have a job at all.

Job-seekers, small business owners, individuals on a tight budget, and students can all benefit from learning and using desktop publishing in their business and personal lives.

You Can Make More Money by Knowing Desktop Publishing

Desktop publishing as a job in and of itself is on the decline. But the need to know how to do desktop publishing is on the rise. Employers value employees who can do more. And one more that is in demand is desktop publishing. Some companies may have an in-house design team for their desktop publishing needs. Other organizations keep it in-house by expecting office managers, executive assistants, sales people, church secretaries, human resources employees, teachers, and others to handle desktop publishing tasks — even if they don't call it desktop publishing.
"A decade ago desktop publishers were listed as one of the top ten fastest growing occupations by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). Several years later things were slowing down as desktop publishing was 'becoming less of a specific job description and occupation and more of a job skill acquired and used by individuals in a variety of fields and positions'. "Desktop Publishing and Graphic Design Job Growth Outlook
So, if you want to expand your job opportunities or move up in your current job, make yourself more attractive to employers by adding desktop publishing to your skillset. Here's how:
  1. Learn the Lingo. Desktop publishing has a language all its own. OK, much of it is shared with other related fields including graphic design, Web design, printing, publishing, and the general field of computers. Browsing a glossary may seem boring, but this glossary is really an alphabetical series of mini-tutorials that can help make it easier once you delve into other formal avenues of learning how to do desktop publishing.

  2. Learn the Software. Desktop publishing software is not like word processing software or graphics software or presentation software, although you do need to learn all of them as well for some desktop publishing tasks. And some employers may expect you to do desktop publishing with Microsoft Word or Adobe Illustrator or Microsoft PowerPoint or some other software. You'll learn the differences as you learn more about desktop publishing but in your quest to make more money at your current or future job, the differences are less important than learning skills your employer wants. Try one of these approaches to learn how to use the software.

  3. Get Some Training. On-the-job training, even if you're teaching yourself, is one way to expand your desktop publishing skills. Other options include independent study (such as using the resources at About.com Desktop Publishing) and formal classes. And if your current employer will pay for some of that formal training or software certification, that's even better. Explore all the ways to get desktop publishing training to find what suits you best.

Are you currently enrolled in a desktop publishing class of any kind? Vote in the poll about your reasons for doing so.

Next: You Can Save Money by Knowing Desktop Publishing

For a different take on the subject: Why We Don't Need Desktop Publishing

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