If you were the employer and you have 2 candidates for the 1 Junior dev position.
Candidate 1: With degree but no work experience at all
Candidate 2: NO degree and no work experience
Both of them have zero professional dev experience and they only started learning less than a year ago. They have similar skills and presented their projects and both of them excel your expectation during the interview and coding challenges for the Junior position but you can only pick one for the position which one would you choose? Candidate 1 or 2?
I will choose candidate 1 with degree.
To make it simple, i turn every requirement as point, depend on priority between 1 - 3. Degree worth 2 point. No matter how suck you are during college, you obtain your degree means you learn something
With all else being EQUAL, then it probably wouldn’t matter which one to hire. Either way, it’s a 50/50 toss-up. You’re not really sure how either one will pan out in the actual job.
The one with the college degree however has proven to the world that he can finish something that he started, spent 4 years of study to get that degree. It doesn’t matter if it’s a BS in Mathematics or Physics or Psychology or Medieval Arts or Rennaisance Fair degree.
However, the one without the college degree may be even more “hungrier” and has a need to prove himself to the world, will probably work even 10x as much.
Of course, you didn’t specify what kind of college degree candidate #1 had. If for example, they have a background in Sales, Marketing, Non-profit, Accounting, whatever… then those skills may come in handy in the future. As a web developer, he’ll be able to talk the same “lingo” as the clients in those same related fields.