ELLEN DAOUST graduated from Smith College in 2009 with a degree in government and Spanish and an interest in communications, but no real idea of how to turn that into a career.

But after three years in the national service program AmeriCorps, where she worked with video while involved in community and youth development, and eight months earning a graduate certificate in a digital media program at Northeastern University, Daoust landed a job as a multimedia developer at the Boston Museum of Science.

“I knew the position was something that would be engaging and challenge me to grow in my video skills,” said Daoust, 26, of Jamaica Plain.

Daoust is an example of how job seekers can build on existing skills to launch careers in fast-growing and well-paying fields, such as technology. The Labor Department projects employment for Web developers to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Web developers made between $61,250 and $99,250 in 2012, according to a survey by Robert Half Technology, a recruiting firm in Menlo Park, Calif.

Like many newly minted graduates, Daoust was unsure of her next step when she left Smith. Law school, working in environmental conservation, or teaching abroad were all possibilities. During internships in former US representative John Olver’s office and Boston City Hall, she wrote press releases, responded to constituents, and developed communications skills.