In other words, where they learned their stuff doesn't matter, but rather, what they've learned and how passionate they are about knowing their field. A self-taught person will almost surely benefit from learning in an academic setting, provided you're not going to some joke school. Universities help you learn by guiding your learning and giving you access to resources and experts in the field, but they don't instantly make you a master of the material. That's on the student. Yes, being self taught implies that the person has the drive to learn, but it's also limited by how well they can steer their learning. And that's what schools and professors are for.