Good question! I Was often worried about wht software I should learn when I first began university. I've learned over the past four years that it never really matters which software you use in this industry.
Yea, Maya is the industry standard.... but most studios don't use Maya for their 3D productions. I've learned you really need to dabble in various range of software. Like Cinema 4D, Zbrush, Unity (game software), Houdini, and many others. To figure out what software studios are using, try researching into the particular studio or profession you wish to pursue for your career.
if it's character animation, research into the studios that are working in character animation, see what they require you to know. It'll help you get a good idea of where to begin.
Disney use Maya, but Dreamworks and Pixar have their own software not available to the public. Disney TV, Cartoon Saloon, Gobelins, Jam Media, Cartoon Network, Nickoldeon and many others use a variety depending on the budget and the studio; ranging from TV paint, ToonBoom, Flash and Maya (very few TV studios use 3D, but it is possible).
what you'll also need to do is know your rendering software if you are going to pursue 3D. Arnold, Renderman, Mental ray are all industry standards, and available to the public for free. Arnold is now available with MAYA 2017. Fair warning Maya is a very tedious and challenging software to get use to first time round. The software usually has a lot of bugs with every new update, but you learn to adapt andwork around it. Takes a lot of persistence and will power.
Lastly, keep your eyes out for CG communities online, such as Animation Mentor, CG Tarian, AnimSchool (Are some of the online schools), they have fees that are similar to a tution fee. But many successful artists I've know or heard of never even went to art school. YouTube is you best free resource to begin with, there is a tone of tutorials that are freely accessible to all.
Look out for Magazines like 3D Artist, CG World, Imagine FX and others. These will often have a lot of professional information from artist working in the industry sharing their experience and tips. It's a good idea to start collecting those.
Look out for communities like MAYA's forum page and user guideline pages, these will help with any issue with the software. Where other people may have come across similar error you will probably face. Unity also has its own forums and guideline page. Sign up to site like CG Society, 3D Total, Polycount, and ZBrush Central. All sites like these have a tone of insight and professional expertise.
It is a good idea to get into the animation programs I feel, you'll probably find you will be taught more of animation and it will suit your career path better. Illustration is great, but you really need to talk with the lecture/course director in charge to see what that course can provide you in regards to animation. If they show a good sense of animation knowledge and understanding then I'd say it's a good choice, there's no harm entering into this industry with a different degree outside of animation. Ed Catmull came to animation with no education in animation, but a degree in techology. So you don't have to go for animation unless it is the only path that suits your personal preferences. It's really your choice and what you want to do.
Good luck on your journey! I wish you the best of luck with Ringling, I've seen some very talented artists/animators come through that school. It is awesome! You'll do well there. Cal Arts is the school that everyone knows about, it's been around for a very long time, and had a very good track record of inspirational artists. However, today the world hosts a tone of new and exciting schools with courses in animation that are also just as good and getting better with each new year that comes through.
I've noticed this with my own course over the past four years, the newer bunch are getter more talented and the projects more insanely good as the years go on.
I hope this is all helpful to you.