I dropped out of college to attend one of those boot camp/trade schools for programming. I graduated, got a job, and now believe I have a reasonable foundation from which to continue my career. I then re-enrolled in an online college because I hear stories about people getting stonewalled 10-12 years down the road because they never got a degree.
The reason I ask this now is because trying to juggle full-time work and school is proving more difficult than I would like. So I ask, will I actually provide a benefit to myself by getting a degree? At this point in time, would I better served to just focus on work and learning skills relevant to my job (rather than the gen-ed inherent in a degree)? In 5 years, I can see my extra 4 years of work experience giving me more opportunities than the college grads with a degree and 1 year of experience, but will the same hold true 10 years down the road? 15 years?
So in short, will a degree really be all that important in this field in later years? Will I hit a glass ceiling without it? If so, when would this occur? Would I be able to earn my degree then? Or will I find it just as hard or harder to do when I'm 30+?
I ask this here because I'd like to get answers from both people working in the industry, as well as from the people that hire us.