Should I go for a college degree or should I focus on skills? Well I will tell you my opinion on this.
Go for skills. The hiring system in most countries is trash. We see that they require a certain basic degree to apply for the job. But just don’t let that stop you. They do this just so that the applications do not pile up. If you feel like you’re fit for the job, just apply. Think about this, If you focus on college they will teach you some theoretical stuff so that you can write exams. The college syllabus is clearly not meant for getting you a job in the tech field. When you learn stuff yourself, you have the option of either growing in it or can even drop it if you don’t like it.
This applies to anything in the tech field. You might think that you will get a job as a Pentester by having a cybersecurity degree, but we should realize that the companies out there don’t want to hear what you learnt in college. They might probably give you some machines to hack or check your Github/Gitlab profile if you are applying for a programming job. So it is perfectly clear that degrees won’t land you a high paying job, but your hard work will.