I've been working for 10 years in the industry without a degree and have worked for many large companies and not once has not having a degree been a problem.
I'm currently doing a part time degree for personal gain really and I haven't learned anything yet that would be valuable in a commercial environment. I think wanting to learn, having common sense and ambition will get you on in life far more than a university
At 25 I had started my own company and working as a consultant earning a very good wage through sheer determination. Am I the cleverest person out there? No not even close my maths is terrible but I know how to develop and I get projects developed successfully and
guess what that's what companies want, good value, hard working people that get the job done.
How did I get into IT without a degree, well I started from the very bottom, I learnt my worth at each level of my career the more projects I completed, the more knowledge I gained the more I was worth simple as that.
I suppose when you're contracting or consulting you sell your company to the client, rather than the people that make it up (even if it's only one or two people), and that's where past success is more important.