For many years, being a programmer with no degree was a point of pride for me. But I've realized, the way programmer education works is totally backwards.
Think about it - what's really more valuable: a degree ten years ago, or training in the latest and greatest last week? There are a few great schools where they make you write compilers, learn Lisp, build robots, and actually learn lambda calculus as math before you ever see a Python or Ruby lambda. But those schools are few and far between. Assume a normal degree, and you've got something of limited value, which value very rapidly decreases. Conference attendance is a lot more valuable than a degree.
By this standard, the tech industry actually undervalues education, except in the most junior and most senior programmers. Education can matter for compiler geniuses with multiple PhDs and fresh-out-the-gate MIT graduates, but for everybody else, it's totally inessential compared to recent experience with Popular Language X.
Personally, I've been on an absolute conference binge these last few months, and I recommend it for anyone and everyone in this field of work. It's good to be well-educated. As good as it is to have recent experience with Popular Language X, it's so much better to have insight, perspective, and detailed understanding of what's going on with Popular Language X - and a few other languages as well.