Although you may not realise it, your attitude is somewhat elitist - you suggest that someone who's only dabbled in the field does not truly understand things, and is clearly not motivated enough to make a good go of it.
That's not elitist. It's good, practical advice, and an important point to consider. Just because a person likes computers and has some aptitude for programming does not mean that they will enjoy a career in IT.
When I decided to stay in school and get a second degree in computer science 11 years ago, I already had a lot more programming experience, from the sound of it, than this person does. I enjoyed programming as a hobby, and I enjoyed my coursework and excelled in it. But truth be told, I have never really enjoyed working in IT, and there are plenty of times when I hate it.
I think that at the very least, it would be a good idea for this person to learn some serious programming on his own, before he decides to invest time and money into getting a degree. That still won't be any guarantee of future success and/or happiness, but it's a start.