Your handbook is right. There is an incredible amount of young and inexpensive talent entering the industry. The barriers to entry in the market are dropping (in other words, the tools are becoming cheaper, and a one-person shop can do work today that took a whole team a few years ago) -- but pay rates are dropping, too.
There's a lot of good reading on this topic on the Business & Marketing forum, and a few good threads on the Final Cut Pro forum (like this recent thread [link]).
Big VFX studios have been closing their doors left and right, because the effects industry as a whole has had terrible business discipline. They have been slashing margins to unhealthy levels, just trying to keep work flowing through their pipelines, and they've been working on projects with hugely variable (and ballooning) costs on fixed bids. The large VFX studios that are succeeding are opening offices in places where they can claim huge tax incentives or take advantage of lower labor costs.
Google "vfx townhall" or "Lee Stranahan open letter" for some recent history here.
You're right that there is more work than ever being done, and that it requires a lot of talent -- but don't assume that the people in your school represent the broader industry.
If you are choosing your career path based on projected demand, pick healthcare. It's the new plastics.
If you love animation and effects, you can still build a great career in the industry, but I think it requires dedication, continuous learning and self-improvement to stay ahead of the competition, and business savvy.
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