Just to note that all the hardware is out there and easy to acquire at the consumer level compared to when I started out in the vfx industry in 1996 and it was $80k for an SGI and Alias. Things shifted to Windows and pretty soon the small handful of training facilities became every uni and college and lots of bright eyed 20 somethings, usually pfys who want a cool looking career. Thus, as the hardware became cheaper, so too increased the volume of graduates who will undercut themselves and each other to death to stay contracted. Thing is, as Simon pointed out, being really good at this stuff is bloody hard work, never gets any easier or more secure but there are still enough desperate operators and new grads out there to make it an employer's market.
What wasn't raised at all in the article is offshoring. Often this is a total mess and makes for disaster, but like everything in 21c neoliberal capitalism, price rules as does trashy content and tonnes of it and the lower the price, the better delusion you're getting ahead as a studio. so there are increasingly less roles in most wealthier countries because part of staying competitive means packing as much off to India, China, Eastern Europe etc as you can. Further, local companies undercut each other to get gigs and my experience has been that daily freelance rates shrank 1996-2003 and have either dropped further if you are junior or stayed about the same for seniors. Recent funny moment... Animal Logic educator's night here in Sydney. Bunch of school careers advisers are genuinely morally shocked to be told full time roles and job security do not exist and did not know where to put themselves, especially after signing all the nda's to even get in the door.
From my perspective, I'd rather teach 3d and vfx and write curriculum and choose bits of freelance to fill remaining holes while watching my college, rather than use its students, contract the website to asia. I basically make the same money, have a third the stress and don't have to deal with total utter job insecurity and the raving eccentricity, intrigue and backstabbing along with the personality disordered egos that are not hard to find in all roles and levels in this game. Everyone dreams of starting their own production company. Many who did years ago have enough experience to stay in business but make the same money and do the same stuff. Marry, start a family?... lol! Most studios collapse and the bigger ones swallow or get swallowed, endlessly because they have to compete to get the gig. Just look at Adobe and venture capitalists beating it out to own The Foundry recently. It could just have easily collapsed and been swallowed by Autodesk. This flows on to the animators who love it so much that they subliminally accept those at the top taking the biggest cuts just to pay the rent.