What a lot of folks here aren't taking into account is the fact that the whole collegiate education system will be turned entirely on its ear in the next few decades. In fact, we are seeing the nascent stages of this already happening with the wider dissemination of knowledge via the internet. For instance, if I want to learn how to start programming, I can pool enough information from a variety of Google searches to cover about 3 semesters worth of programming courses. For a nominal fee (nowhere near what I would pay for a single course over a semester, let alone for a single lecture) I can take that acquired knowledge and turn it into a certification that translates into a real wage increase, or at least a chance at opening a door.
To be honest, I have picked up more knowledge since leaving college than I acquired in college. Did college give me a framework to learn this new knowledge? Not really. For instance, I spent the majority of my college career planning to be a graphic artist, but using techniques before the advent of computers. I used computers all through college, but they were for writing term papers or to look up course materials and email, and, of course, a few games from time to time, but never really for graphic design.
But my entire industry was turned on its ear by the advent of computers, so much so that by the time I graduated, I had discovered that no one out there was hiring folks with traditional training, but they were paying top dollar for experienced artists who could work in Photoshop and Illustrator. So, over the course of two weeks, I went through a crash course to learn both programs, and landed my first job out of college working for an advertising agency. I kept that job for about 2 months until my paycheck bounced (a reality-check for me, since nowhere in my college career did they cover this part of the work) and then I moved on to bigger and better pastures.
Ever since then, there has been that temptation to go back to school. But each time, when I have been faced with new crossroads in my career, instead of going back to school, I have instead knuckled down, picked up the right material to learn and then picked up the certification as a matter of due course. I taught myself through most of my programming and development experience this way, picking up C++, HTML, Perl, Java, SQL and several other languages. I even went so far as to tie in my graphic design background and now spend a large amount of my time doing UI design.
To be honest, the last time I spent time in a classroom was over 20 years ago, and the last student loan I paid off was about 15 years ago. But I feel that I am constantly learning and refining the knowledge I already possess. I guess this is the true definition of "professional." My next "re-invention" will be to move into game programming and design. I fully expect that I will do well considering my design experience, programming experience, as well as my background in UI design. Is this going to be a paying gig? Probably not, since I make more than enough money at my day job. Is it going to be fun? You bet it is!