well after just typing "demand for game art courses" into google all that seems to come up is a mass of websites claiming that their coarse is highly successful rate among students which at first suggests that there is a demand for game art courses and that studios do want graduates.
However just before joining this coarse when i was still deciding whether to stay at Stephenson's or come here i read in the paper that Eidos were complaining about game art students, claiming that they we rent experienced enough when they got to industry, and they also claimed that most game art courses were a joke. naturally this scared me a bit and i was even more unsure about where to go. After coming to an opening day and to my interview, where i was able to view the work of the students here and speak to them, my mind was set at ease.
This was before the recession of course and now i am getting worried again, this might not seem like its got noting to do with "demand for game art courses" but it does. I suppose if your not on "the right course" or a coarse that's got connections to industry, then you may not prosper after the recession ends and its time to get a job.
I can see the high and low points to wanting highly trained graduate artists or programmers and creative individuals with a good Liberal Arts background.
With a trained background employers are more likely to get people who know what they are doing with the programmes, like 3ds max. But with the creative arts background employers are more likely to get more creativity in their employees, and with better skills in the drawing department.
I would say that better drawing skills are probably better to have than the programme skills, as most people can learn the programmes in a few weeks. I suppose its a good thing that this coarse teaches drawing and modelling.