Yes, I know it's on the job postings, but it doesn't mean a thing. The person who decides if you get hired or not is usually an art director or design or animation supervisor, and all they care about is your skill. You can get a PhD in animation, but that doesn't mean you're a good animator. Don't get me wrong I got diploma in animation as well, but in retrospective.. I'm not sure if it was worth the time and money. If I were to do it again I'd opted for intern-ship, it's free, you learn 10x faster and you get your foot in the door.
yes i mean a degree or diploma. Most of the larger studios i know want you to have it. At least from what i've seen on their job postings.
I have to disagree with you here. While your demo reel is very important, previous job experience is a big factor. However, the biggest factor is what position you're applying for. If you're applying for an internship, or a junior position, obviously they will look more at your reel than your previous job experience. However, as you move on in your career, most people notice that they don't even need to send out resumes any longer; as since (especially in Canada) people frequently jump around to different studios, which allows them to grow a very vast web of contacts and coworkers very quickly. That's how many people find their next gig; through their network. A company will always take a recommendation by a current employee into stronger consideration than a person that is being brought in off the street.
From my experience here are the factors that affect if somebody gets a job:
90% - Demoreel
10% - Previous job experience (not really that important, unless you worked for some of the world famous studios)