I don't know where to begin in response to this, so lets take this by point/paragraph.
1) An IT degree is not "worthless" because it teaches you certain technologies. You lean about specific technologies, and yes they change. However learning how a technology works (not just learning how to click a button and wow it works) is the true knowledge you are learning. I learned LDAP and Netware in college, and those technologies are fundamental to how I can look at all authorization technologies today, even though people rarely deploy true virgin implementations of those technologies today. The same can be said about modem technology. I learned how a modem worked and today, very few people still use modems. However knowing frequency multiplexing, understanding bandwidth, encoding methodologies, etc. I can know how most any telecom signal works.
2) IT degrees are not standardized. Yes, and nor should they. Universities are a bevy of politics, greed, money changing hands, etc. Curriculum are determined by committees made up from companies which are giving money to the universities to make sure they get the kinds of employees they want. Any company that wants a person can spend 30 minutes and determine if the person has the skills they want. This is called an interview.
3) IT has focused on certs. While yes, this is true, it again tells you if a person has a certain knowledge in certain areas. A company that implements certs can determine the level of knowledge required to pass them and this is no big deal either. Industry knows which are the crap certs and which are the good ones. Again, an interview can determine really quick if a person knows their stuff.
I think you are looking about this the whole way. There are IT workers, and there are IT professionals. An IT worker is an individual who only has the skills to do one specific type of task, and cannot branch out into other areas or line of work. An example of this is a desktop admin (Not all, don't flame me, just read the specifics as I state them) at a large company. If the person has only just joined, and all the know how to do is load a boot CD and ghost images, then guess what, they are an IT worker. They might expand further into creating images and doing other things on that team, but they are still an IT worker. Until they understand full system integration, app design, architecture, etc. then they know how to one specific task (or set of tasks).
A true IT professional is an individual who can work on almost any given technology, knows and has experience with most of the underlying technologies, and can quickly come up to speed with anything that is given to them. These people are rare, and people like this rarely are desired in the traditional hiring process and most the time work as consultants. Why is this? Simple, companies want IT workers. Give them a task, they do only that task. People who can see the bigger picture are not needed often, and when they are, cheaper to hire a consultant for the few weeks they are needed.
I am proud to say I am an IT professional. I have two masters degrees and several certifications after my name. I make a great living, and will be retired by the time I am 45. I can tell you that being an IT professional has not harmed me one bit. I would like to know how this has harmed me? The only way I can see it harming you to be an IT professional is if you want to do the same IT job for the rest of your life, at the same company. Not me, I want to use the knowledge, skills, and god given inquisitiveness I have to learn.