Even After 25 Years, Photoshop Is the One Skill Everyone Needs to Learn

This year, Photoshop turned 25 years old. In the past two-and-a-half decades, the photo editing powerhouse has gone from a niche industry necessity to a nearly universally required skillset.

Writing for the New York Times, Farhad Majoo described Photoshop as a “aging chameleon.”

“It has not just survived but thrived through every major technological transition in its lifetime: the rise of the web, the decline of print publishing, the rise and fall of home printing and the supernova of digital photography,” he explains. But Photoshop is used by so much more than just photographers of all levels; in many industries, proficiency with Photoshop has become an expectation, if not a legitimate hiring requirement.

Beyond obvious uses like unique marketing content and social media assets, the ability to manipulate images is crucial for designers, developers, architects, publishers, advertisers, musicians, and just about any other line of work where presenting information is required. At 25 years old, Photoshop has become as ubiquitous a tool as any word processor. But how did it get there — and just how big is the demand?

We put together this infographic to help get a better idea. Happy birthday, Photoshop.

photoshop infographic

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Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.