"I'm always happy to point out that the time I could have wasted getting a degree I was actually spending learning how to do things in the real-world.
A degree is a piece of paper that says you have the ability to learn (at least it used to) - there are other ways to prove that."
Unfortunately, academia (well they would, wouldn't they?) and civil servants the world over disagree. The latter of course includes immigration authorities.
Having a degree makes it a lot easier to work abroad, something that needs to be considered in the light of Brexit (sorry about politics rearing its ugly head)..