You're right that it's starting to change. About 4 years ago I landed an exempt position that normally requires a degree, but because I had demonstrated my skills as a tech they were willing to take the risk. I've since moved up very quickly by working hard and making sure that I'm better than my peers with degrees, most of whom seem content to rest on their laurels and do the minimum. Two years ago, the company changed the policy that you have to have a degree to get into a position like the one I started in as exempt. There is a waiver process, but it's almost impossible to get through. Our management hates it because there are more people like myself in lower positions that they would love to promote up, but their hands are tied. Whereas we frequently get people now that have degrees, but have no experience and quite frequently expect to be paid more than their actual worth. That's not to say that some of the recent hires aren't good, we do have some that are, but it would be nice to promote those people that have demonstrated talent and are itching to move up, but have no degree. The one nice consolation is it really grinds some people's asses that a guy with no degree is promoted above them, but I'm lucky enough to have gotten in before the company came down with that stupid policy.