Yes and no.
In general No! You don’t need a huge pocket breaking college degree to be on the IT profession.
But you need the skill. In most of the hiring related to the IT jobs, the hiring is conducted using the whiteboard interview. This involves asking the candidate scenario based question that s/he has to solve right there.
The other approach is, phone interview to the candidate followed by a challenge to be submitted in 24 or 48 hour period. In my entire experience working of multiple companies ranging from huge named one to startups, no one has ever mentioned the college degree.
Think about it, if you are a good IT professional, how long does your supervisor has to wait before he knows your abilities? In most cases almost right there. If you know the stuff it will be shown on the screen – kinda thing right??
But there are other areas that require your degree. Mostly in the academics, research centers, paper presentations and in general those focusing more out of the industry area you might need to bring what you bragged.
For the most of the day to day IT activities you don’t need those.
Certifications are others areas though. They are mostly common on the networking and security area of the IT. This are standardization exams you have to take to prove you know stuff. Even in the programming, some companies require certification of the field they are interested. Common ones are Amazon Web Services certification, CCNA for network, A+ and NetSec for security, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server certifications on database.