Law school loves people who have degrees like theater, psych, etc. Why? Because they can teach you all the law crap, it's your background that makes you interesting.
My brother (straight out of a liberal arts college) got a job at a competitive company that used a language he'd never touched before. Why? Because they were willing to take the time to train him. It seems to be less about being trained in the field than it is about having the essential skills to work in the kind of environment that a 4 year degree institute provides (presumably more pressure, more varied, and, yes, the culture/social status aspects are definitely a factor.) Teaching programming languages is useful, yeah, but programming languages go away. They want someone who is versatile. The presumption is that someone who didn't go to college doesn't have the basic degree of mental training that a college grad does.
My comments are talking about people straight out of whatever program, not after they've been in the field a while.