Pick a niche...
I earn a six figure salary (self-employed) and have done since 2003. Only got O'Levels when I left school in 1986. Never even went to college. Went on a YTS earning £17.50 a week, and worked ever since. Never claimed the dole. Have been out of work but never claimed the dole.
Degrees? I'm kind of meh about them, I recognise that if I *did* have one, I'm sure I'd be proud of it. I've met some really clever and fine people that are highly educated, and I look up to them and admire them. I've rarely, if ever, noticed/felt that they look down on me because I don't have any qualifications. You can either do the job or you can't.
There have been one or two instances over my working life where I've been shown something by a university graduate and lamented that I never knew that particular thing. A case in point: How things like hamming codes and error detection and correction work. You're just not going to learn that "on the job" because there's too much "more important" stuff to do, like keeping everything running. You're only going to learn that on a Comp/Sci course, and it's very valuable knowledge indeed, so degree courses do definitely have a place and value.
However, I can't say that not having a degree has ever held me back; well, certainly not in terms of ability to earn, which is the topic of the article.
I think at the end of the day, it's *motivation to learn* that is important. *How* you go about it is less important. If you choose to do a degree, great - good luck to you. If you choose to learn on the job, that's great too.
Eventually, you'll have enough knowledge and experience to be useful to an employer, and how you came about it will be less important.
I'm in my late 40's, so nobody cares about any degree that I may or may not have done when I was, say, 20 years old. It would only be an issue for younger members of the profession.
Whichever path you take, good luck to you! Not having a degree has never held me back financially, and I'm doing a job (as a contractor) that I absolutely love, to the point where I'm effectively getting "paid to play".