Can I Become a Desktop Publisher with an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design?

desktop publisher

Desktop publishing, which involves designing page layouts for newspapers and brochures, is slowly being replaced with graphic designers, which often has an individual wondering if he or she can become a desktop publisher with an associate’s degree in graphic design. The answer to this question is yes. It’s very possible to use the knowledge gained in a graphic design program to obtain a job as a desktop publisher because these two careers have similar job tasks and training requirements.

What is a Desktop Publisher?

A desktop publisher is an individual who uses computer software to design pay layouts for newspapers, brochures, books and similar items that are published or printed online. They use publication software to create layouts used for both electronic and print publication. The import graphics and texts into the software, edit the graphics, revise layouts and submit the final draft to the publishers. Desktop publishers often work with other professionals like graphic designers and writers. While the internet and digital media may have taken a lot of the work away from the conventional desktop publisher, they can still be found working for physical newspaper companies.

What is a Graphic Designer?

A graphic designer is a professional who uses computer software to create visual elements such as images, logos and illustrations. Although they typically create their concepts using software, they may also do it by hand and transfer the work into the computer software. They’re most often found creating websites. They choose the graphics, fonts and illustrations and use them to design a website. They also review their work for errors before submitting it for publication or release. Graphic designers are very similar to desktop publishers in that they both make a living by creating and designing graphics and illustrations for some sort of publication.

Contents of a Graphic Designer Degree Program

Students in a graphic design associate’s degree program can expect to be in school for about two years. As is the case with most associate degree programs, the curriculum will include some general education courses. Graphic designer students will also take courses in computerized design, studio art, marketing, business, desktop publishing, commercial graphics production, website design, writing and printing techniques. These courses, while aimed at aspiring graphic designers, will go a long way towards preparing an individual for a desktop publishing job.

Career Outlook

Despite desktop publishing and graphic design being similar in content and job duties, they are very different in terms of career outlook and wage potential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that desktop publishers should see a 14% decline in employment between 2016 and 2026 while graphic designers overall should see a growth of 4%. The actual growth varies by industry.

Graphic designers working for newspapers and desktop publishers are predicted to see a 22% decline in employment, but graphic designers working for computer systems designs should see a growth of 20%. Desktop publishers earned an average annual wage of $45,170, and graphic designers earned an average wage of $53,280.

With desktop publishing being slowly, or maybe not so slowly, replaced by web designers, graphic designers and editors, many individuals who are interested in graphics and designing often choose an associate’s degree in graphic design to be an ideal training program. It’s also a program that prepares students for various careers.

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