Degrees are nice to have when considering a management position. Also, keeping good talent is a companies main objective. Finding good talent and keeping them. There are also people who make it up through the ranks by learning the ropes and being in the enterprise environment for so long that their experience shadows their absence of a degree.
Some companies look at the degree as a way to identify those who are teachable or able to learn. It takes commitment to go to college and finish your degree. Certifications are also a good thing. Depending on what you want to do with respect to I.T. or Telecom, there are certs out there that can help. Here is one company www.synginc.com/cet.html that prepares you for the RCDD exam which basicly is a Layer 1 (or cabling) certification for consulting and designing of networks.
Hope this helps.