A self-taught (with a mentor) "code monkey" could learn enough in two years to build a self-healing self-scaling globally distributed fast web platform that can handle a million connections per second.
In the real world the difference between the guru and everybody else isn't deep theory or advanced maths. Almost every problem has been solved already. It's the ability to creatively look at a new problem and find a relationship between it and an efficiently solved problem you do know and adapt the solution. It's the ability to figure out how to get and find all the datapoints you don't already have. Classrooms teach none of that. Classrooms teach fairness, the real world is never fair. Classrooms require a teaching style where everything you need to solve the problem has been given to you. The real world does not, real employers do not. Classrooms teach material in a logical progression. The ability to recognize that progression and utilize the hints provided by it (the biggest of which is that what you just learned or what logically follows from it is part of the answer) almost guarantees academic success. The real world is chaos, where the problem of today may never have been encountered before, may not be perfectly solvable by anything you know or at all, and there may be no hints or all the hints might be wrong.