As others have said it depends on what you want to do or who you want to be employed by but…
It doesn’t hurt you to know more than one piece of software and as they develop they’re gaining each others features anyway so there’s a lot of similarity and therefore your knowledge is transferable.
But don’t just know the software have a good understanding of techniques no one is going let an amazing animator walk out the door even if they only know Blender. You can easily learn which Maya buttons to push but you can’t learn that X factor the best animators have.
We’ve recently broadened our software to include Softimage, Houdini and Modo as members of the team had expressed preferences and had been learning other packages for some time before using them in the studio. I have been learning Houdini for years with the Apprentice version before we bought a commercial license. I wouldn’t call myself an expert either, learning new software takes an investment in time.
Cinema does a lot of things well in one package in fact some better than any other package and it is very easy to use but it has a real problem with complexity and taking those effects to the level you can with Houdini and Softimage’s ICE.
Switch because you need to either for better employment prospects or because you’ve hit the limits of C4D in some way not because your mates have.
Who knows what the future holds for C4D with the current Maxon leadership? Could say the same about Softimage and Autodesk. The only thing that would make me look at upgrading C4D again would be Xpresso getting seriously upgraded to be as powerful as ICE but there in zero signs of that in fact Maxon seem indifferent to multi-threading of C4D.
If I had my time again knowing what I know now, I’d jump straight in with Softimage for me the best pound for pound 3D App out there and ideal for single users and small studios. If Autodesk kill it tomorrow you’ve still got ICE to extend it yourself forever.
But starting out now I can only see a long term future for two, perhaps, three Apps, Maya, Max and Blender. The rest are either going to be rendered pointless by Blender or the features will end up in Autodesk Maya/Max. Houdini and Softimage features will be rolled into Maya/Max and there’s nothing that C4D’s Mograph can do that can’t easily be copied and improved upon. I bet there’s some Blender script kiddie cooking up something right now in a basement somewhere.
Learn Maya…or Blender…