Desktop Publishing and Design

Online Desktop Publishing Course

If you're creative, have a strong eye for detail, and want to take the first steps toward a career in web design, our Desktop Publishing and Design Career Diploma could help you prepare to reach your professional goals. Through flexible, online courses, you'll learn how to create documents and web pages on your schedule, from home. 

  • Can prepare students for entry-level jobs as desktop publishers or webpage designers.
  • Online desktop publishing courses cover foundational topics such as the electronic publishing process, the elements of design, the types of illustrations used by desktop publishers, how to effectively plan and design business cards, letterheads, resumes, and more.
  • Students enrolled in the program receive Adobe InDesign® software at no additional cost. Instructions for downloading software are included in the Student Portal.
  • Our online programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.
Self Paced

Save up to $190 Ends 3/28/2023

Cost of Program


$989 Save $190


$59/month, Start for as low as $1

1-800-275-4410 (9AM - 9PM EST)

desktop publisher working on computer.

What You Will Learn

  1. How to import and export art, as well as crop and scale an illustration.
  2. How to plan and design business cards, letterheads, envelopes, promotional letters, résumés, brochures, flyers, and newsletters.
  3. How to use Adobe® InDesign® to create publications for printed and cross-media publishing.
  4. How to plan and design multipage documents such as books, magazines, and annual reports.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

Desktop Publishing Career Outcomes

Desktop Publisher





Our online Desktop Publishing and Design Career Diploma Program can help students prepare for entry-level jobs creating documents and web pages for advertising agencies, publishing houses, corporations, and more. However, a career diploma program alone may not qualify you for employment in the field. Combined with relevant work experience or educational background, adding a computer programming credential to your resume could potentially help you stand out from other job applicants. 

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your program. See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Desktop Publishing Course Curriculum

  • 24.6 continuing education units (CEUs)
  • 6 courses
  • 16 exams
  • 1 submitted project

Estimated completion time:

  • Fast track = 12 months
  • Average time = 14 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework.

In our online Desktop Publishing and Design course, you'll learn the foundational skills necessary to prepare for an entry-level career as a desktop publisher or web designer. Your courses include:

  • The Electronic Publishing Process
  • Planning and Designing Multipage Documents
  • Essential Publishing Skills
  • Adobe® InDesign®

Show Full Curriculum

Desktop Publishing Success Stories

Penn Foster’s Desktop Publishing and Design Career Diploma Program can help prepare you for the first step in your design career. This program has helped recent graduates find new jobs or start their own businesses while learning at their own pace. Learn more about Penn Foster graduates' experiences and how Penn Foster worked for them. 
View Student Success Stories
quote icon

- Jermaine H.

Penn Foster Graduate, 2021

“I needed Penn Foster to get my feet in the door of a career of my choice. Penn Foster helped with that in a tremendous way...”

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Desktop Publishing Course Tuition

Take the first steps toward a new career with our online Desktop Publishing and Design Career Diploma Program. Simply choose from one of our low-cost customized payment plans below and get started today! 

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $190 Ends 3/28/2023

Cost of Program


$989 Save $190

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

Cost of Program


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $1 down
  • Credit card, PayPal, or ACH from bank account
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

cost of program


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $49 down
  • Mail your payments
Enroll Now

California residents please click here for Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

Tuition & Payment Options

We're here to help. Call 1-800-275-4410 9AM - 9PM EST

Request Info

Our Proven Desktop Publishing and Design Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime 
  • No exam due dates 
  • Self-paced 


  • Digital study guides 
  • Self-check quizzes 
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online student community 
  • Student Portal Help Center


  • Expert faculty 
  • Dedicated student services 
  • Robust learning resources

Related Programs

Desktop Publishing and Design Program FAQs

What is desktop publishing and design?

Desktop publishing uses computer applications, digital graphics, and multimedia formatting to create electronic documents and presentations, as well as create digital pages that are meant to be viewed electronically. Desktop publishers most often create layouts and digital documents that are meant to be used in print media such as brochures, though many also design electronic documents, pdfs, and layouts for websites, as well.

How do you become a desktop publisher?

Generally, desktop publishers need a high school diploma along with an associate or bachelor's degree to qualify for a job in the field, though relevant work experience can sometimes work in place of education for some employers. While a degree has been a minimum qualification required by employers in the past, many now look for those who have demonstrated skills with industry desktop publishing software and techniques, so completing a desktop publishing course through a career diploma could be helpful!

How long does it take to become a desktop publisher?

The length of time it takes to become a desktop publisher can depend on your work experience and which training path you choose to pursue. For those earning a degree, it can take roughly two to four years to become a desktop publisher. With our online Desktop Publishing and Design Career Diploma, you can learn the essential skills employers look for around your schedule and build your knowledge in a matter of months.

What skills do you need to be a desktop publisher?

Successful desktop publishers and designers need to have some artistic ability or an eye for design in order to create visually appealing documents. Additionally, successful desktop publishers are also detail-oriented, organized, and have strong math and computer skills.