well, i'm kind of blending professionally - i use blender at work and get paid for it. this doesn't mean to say i'm an expert by any means - Blender simply adds something to our output we wouldn't have without spending £6000 on Maya...
I'm in an interesting position though - got a BA in media studies, got an admin job at my current place and worked my way up! I think you're unlikely to walk into a 3d animation job. the best thing to do is put a decent portfolio together (this is something i have yet to do
), find a place that does what you're interested in, and pester them til they let you do the photcopying/coffee making...you get the picture.
I've got to say - being in a similar situation to yourself - that i'm pretty bad when it comes to drawing. But a lovely 3d package won't make you a good animator or draughtsman/woman, you really need to understand movement, value, light etc etc if you want to produce stuff that stands out. So far i've looked at a couple of "teach yourself drawing" books( i can't afford a night course) and the one that stands out for me is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Amazon it
) and i must say its helping me a lot. Oh, and drawing is fun too!
One more piece of advice - i would shy away from a 3d art degree if i were you. assuming it lasts the minimum of 3 years (unless you're a genius), that's 3 years "out" of the real working world. 3d technology is likely to come on in leaps and bounds in that time. I would suggest subscribing to Lynda.com if you want to use Maya or Max, picking it up as you go along, and building a portfolio as you go. Work for free! you'll never have the opportunity later on. If it looks good on your CV, do it.
just my tuppence.