Desktop & web publishing is a field full of exciting possibilities. There are two qualities of this subject that make it so open to multiple forms of success: its precise job description is relatively vague, and the skills that one picks up are so broadly applicable. Many colleges now offer degrees in desktop & web publishing, and students are eager to monopolize on the opportunities.

Colleges that offer desktop & web publishing can differ widely in the exact classes they offer and the specific software that they teach. However, their general goals are usually the same. A desktop & web publisher is someone who blends computer technology and current trends with graphics and aesthetics. It?s a new field, one that used to be covered under general graphic design. But with the advent of innovative new programs for manipulating images, dabbling with fonts, and creating page layouts, desktop & web publishing has expanded to horizons beyond those of traditional design. Colleges recognize this turning point and usually offer a broad foundation of courses that cover both the technological and the inherently artistic sides of things.

Desktop & web publishing colleges can be four-year institutions, community colleges, or vocational and technical colleges. In addition, as seems fitting for such a cutting edge industry, some desktop & web publishing colleges offer courses online. If you?re at all interested in this subject of study, it?s not difficult to find colleges that can meet your needs.

What should you look for in the search for strong desktop & web publishing programs? In an ideal world, a good program should combine several features: a strong foundation that addresses technology as well as design, up-to-date facilities and software, and the possibility for job experience and/or placement. Just remember, however, that these three add up to an ideal program. In the end, other details of certain programs may outweigh any detriments.

FOUNDATION

Programs in desktop & web publishing should always place equal emphasis on the highly technical components?that is, how to access features of software programs and use them efficiently?and the design components. You should leave with a solid foundation in which you know not only what toolbar options and keyboard shortcuts to use, but also how to use them in a way that is pleasing for the observer. Thus, desktop & web publishing components often offer courses on specific software programs such as Photoshop and Dreamweaver in addition to general courses on design.

FACILITIES

In a field that evolves as quickly as desktop & web publishing, good programs must place an emphasis on the most cutting-edge equipment available. Look for programs that feature the newest editions of software. And it goes without saying that they should be teaching with software that is commonly used in the industry?it would do you no good to learn how to design with an obscure application. Software aside, desktop & web publishing programs should have state-of-the art machines and operating systems.

JOB EXPERIENCE

Ask around for desktop & web publishing schools that can help you gain job experience.

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