The "Jobs in 3D discussion" was interesting because it came from the view points of someone in education trying to place students, an internal recruiter, someone who hires contractors, a art director and someone who runs a small business.
From the perspective of the small business owner, having all round skills were the most important factor because there wasn't many resources and projects keep changing that you had to be able to work on whatever came in and a great way of getting a foot in the door was as a school/college internship or offering to help out on a certain project for free.
From a contractor perspective, Lane Feuer at Hasbro just wanted to see good looking sculpture work, doesn't matter about the quality of the model or texturing, just the final sculpture because that is all they are interested in, which is quite different to a lot of other fields. Also because a lot of the contractors work remotely from as far as Brazil, communication is key in being able to understand the requirements of the project. Being a contractor for 6 months is also looked as a probationary period, much like an extended interview, if they like you and you work out there is every possibility of them offering you a full time position at the end of the contract.
Thom Ang, the art director at 38 Studios was a very interesting speaker, talking about working to your strengths, if you aren't the best artist out there but are able to manage projects he said work to those strengths, gets you working in a art position but where you can help out the most as an example.
As a side note to the discussions, Brad Porter, who organised the event mentioned that Maya 2010 with a subscription included would be $4100 or a stand alone license of $3500 and this version combines all the versions of the past so no more 3 flavours.
They are also offering an "Entertainment Creative Suite" which is $5000, this includes either Maya 2010 or 3DSM 2010, Motionbuilder and Mudbox.
He highlighted the main advantage of the subscription model, apart from cheaper future upgrades, it allowed the artist to remotely use the license on their home personal computer at no additional cost, which is a great way to play around with the package on your own time.