Welcome to the forums!
I'm about a year away from my Bachelors of Science in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems with an unofficial focus on database and server administration.
However... I'm mostly self taught as well. In the world of IT (I'm talking about the entire field encompassing programmers, database admins, the lowly helpdesk, etc, etc), IMO, experience is just as, if not MORE important, than a diploma.
If you're going into research, though, (especially in areas such as cryptography and network security research), a strong curriculum vitae is very important. It all depends on what field you want to ultimately end up in.
Your question would probably be best answered in its own thread