One other point that seems to often get glossed over on CG forums :
If you want to be an animator then you need to spend the majority of your time studying [i]animation,[/i] not software. If you look at an animation forum like the 11 Second Club and watch the monthly entries you can see that well over half of them are from kids who have gotten a cracked copy of Maya, loaded up a free character rig from the net and then figured out the basic technical stuff of posing, setting keyframes, loading in audio to sync to and rendering out previews. Anyone who can operate an Xbox or a smartphone can get that far. What they lack though is any concept of how to make good animation, ie they have no understanding of the classic animation principles like timing, spacing, arcs, staging, appeal, overlap, weight, etc etc! So the results are all kinds of ugly.
It’s similar with motion graphics, most people can learn how to use the mograph module with a little training, but the ones who create compelling results with it are those who understand art principles like design, typography, colour theory etc.
Brad Bird compared CG animation to Sampling in music, in that it's easier for anyone to load up a rig and pose it and get some kind of result that looks like 'animation'. But being able to use those tools effectively still takes artistic knowledge, not computer/software skills.
Another reason why this is so important is that if you do have a career as an animator you will likely move from studio to studio and will encounter different software packages as you do so (the likes of Dreamworks and Pixar for example use their own custom software instead of any of the other major packages). So again, knowing [i]how to animate[/i] will get you much further than being able to use any particular piece of software.