Get a masters. I have been in the industry as an engineer for 12 years, and last year started going back to school part time for my masters.
It's true that experience is huge. I got my first job with no degree at all, and was making around 75k (in a city with an extremely low cost of living) with only a couple years experience and no degree until I decided to finish it up.
But the thing I learned in all this time is that there are certain jobs that will just never be accessible to you without an advanced degree. And if you're anything like me, the longer you're in the industry the more you'll aspire to these jobs, because they are the ones with the really interesting work, working for major corporations and designing cutting edge things.
Most jobs without an advanced degree will have you designing things that have already been done 1,000 times before, but they just need a slightly customized version for their purposes. Or you'll be thrown into a project that's already been mature for a long time and you're just extending it. These are all great, and it's definitely the way to go right off the bat for experience, but after a while you're really going to want to be working on the cutting edge technologies, working on a project that is the first of its kind, or really novel in some way. For >95% of these projects, you flat out just need an advanced degree. And it's not just because they only recruit people with advanced degrees (although the more elite the job, the more that will be the case), but no matter how much you learn on your own there is a certain aspect that you just lose out on without having learned the material in a formal, academic setting.
I was programming in 4 languages before I even got to my freshman year as undergrad, had started playing with electronics and programming when I was like 10. I still keep up on my learning by reading all the books I can get my hands on. But still, in my first 2 semesters back at University working on my Masters I've learned a TON. I'm only my second semester in and already I know it was an excellent choice, and will really be worthwhile in the end. If not for my job, for myself.