Ashlee Hynes already expects to land a job after graduation next year.

Why? Because the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy digital arts major’s skills, which are used to create the computer animation used in video games and military simulations, are in high demand.

“Honestly, the doors are all pretty much open,” said Hynes, a 23-year-old graduate student from Melbourne, Fla. Some 90% of FIEA graduates get jobs that pay more than $50,000 a year, according to the Orlando, Fla.-based school.

The U.S. video game industry saw hardware and software sales of $20.2 billion in 2009, according to industry watcher NPD. And growing use of free online games, such as the popular Facebook-based “Farmville,” was also expected to create demand for programmers and video designers.

College graduates face similar demand from employers. So much so that video game design curricula have sprung up at 20% more schools nationwide this year.

As Americans become more dependent on getting information and entertainment through video — the average Internet user watches seven videos per day, according to one study — the talent to create video content becomes more in demand.

Read the rest of the story on USA Today’s website. Editor’s note: This article originally appeared Oct. 3 in Florida Today by Patrick Peterson, Simulation sizzles.