If you could do a survey of everyone who learned to use a 3D/CG application of some description between 1995 and say 2007 (the years, roughly, when 3D animation was hot hot hot! in the movies and everyone wanted to do it) you’d probably find that tens of thousands of people failed to create what they could picture in their creative minds due to slow, complicated, achingly technical and - to top it all off - overpriced 3D software + crappy, overpriced PC hardware, and eventually either quit doing CG altogether, or wound up laboring in a far less creative subfield like achviz, productviz, medical or science/engineering viz. My guess is that at least 8/10 CG users of those years eventually dropped out of doing CG completely at some point.
If the 3D software had been better designed from the getgo, if hardware rendering acceleration had been available when it was really needed, if the software pricing had been a little less crueland if a handfull of really smart interaction design/usability people had been hired to figure out how to really streamline 3D workflow for solo and small studio CG creators, the world of creativity would have changed in so many different ways.
You would be able to go on Youtube today and find that maybe 3 - 5 out of the ‘Top 20 most viewed’ videos each day is short form CG animation produced by small indy studios around the world, instead of 5 minutes of some guy with spiky hair talking into his webcam. You would go to the cinemas every 2 - 3 months and find full length, independently created CG features that are not about talking animals or Star Wars Clone Wars or other kiddy franchises. You would find all sorts of CG-heavy weekly TV shows being made around the world instead of being blasted with CG-heavy advertising for razor blades, cars or anti-dandruff shampoo all the time instead. And you’d probably find that maybe 10 - 20% of the popular websites on the internet feature some kind of web3D component (a virtual store, a 3D consumer chat area, something interactive andrealtime3D).
To answer your original question though - what is going to be left for the experts to do? - don’t worry about a thing. The CG software industry will continue to pump out slow, complex, overly technical & pricy tools that need one or more ‘specialized experts’ to babysit it in a production environment. Once the current global economic crisis blows over especially, you will find that current ‘nice-price’ pricing policies on a lot of 3D/CG/game related software also goes away. It will be like the old days of ‘Maya & Softimage and SGI in Big Studio Pipelines’ again, only with a cloud-rendering twist that will be priced, very much on purpose just as in the past, to exclude independent creators and small CG studios.
If you want to get really conspiratorial, Intel and AMD could probably produce a CPU with 10 - 20 cores running at 2.5 Ghz per core by next year and sell it to 3D and engineering software users for no more than 2000 - 3000 dollars a pop. They will never do that, however, because it would put way too much rendering power in the hands of solo CG creators and small CG studios. We’ll probably get those 20 core beasts 5 - 7 years from now, and maybe only as a ‘cloud CPU’ that can be rented but not bought… It all depends on if and when the next economic crisis hits.