So far, it hasn't been a barrier to finding a job. In some job interviews, it turned out to be a problem, but it hasn't kept me from finding a job or doing what I really want to do. I'm only 27 now, and maybe it will be a problem later on, but somehow I doubt it.
During my last job search, in January, I found that my lack of credentials made it more difficult to find a job. On the other hand, even folks WITH credentials are having a hard time!
So when I did find a job, I was particularly pleased that my employer is willing to pay for my training. As I write this, I'm sitting in a Learn iT! classroom, undergoing indoctrination into the cult of Microsoft. Bill's tech isn't what interests me most, but with a Microsoft credential, it certainly will be easier to find a job than without one.
Not having gone to college even has advantages, I think: No Debt -
One advantage is that while my peers are still paying off their college debt, I have none. Some folks can get their college paid for by the State or family members, but the rest have to work really hard or borrow. Free Thought -
Another advantage is that by taking my own road, I am less influenced by the dogma of the academic sector. A good part of going to college is socialization. While in school, we learn which thoughts are acceptable and which are not. By eschewing the bastions of academic hegemony, I can look at the world in a more independent way. (I now gird myself for the onslaught of the collegiate masses) Head Start -
since I didn't spend four years or more in school, I have more real-world experience than my colleagues who went to school. This advantage fades quickly, though.
Those are the only advantages of skipping college that I can come up with immediately.
Instead of going to college, I spent a couple of years after high school in service to the nation as an AmeriCorps
member. That was an amazing experience--AmeriCorps allowed me to travel extensively in the US, paid for my room and board while I did it. It also taught me a lot about teamwork. But most of all, it taught me about the value of contributing to society; and that isn't something you can pick up in a classroom.
As a techie who has been successful without a degree, I say: do what you want. If you want to go to college, do it. If you don't like it, you can drop out. If you don't want to go to college, don't worry about it. You can always go later.
Whether you go to college or not, don't waste your youth in a classroom and a cubicle, learning to be a slave to corporate masters, so you can buy the widgets they hawk. Get outside and live a little before you settle into a workaday routine. Travel, volunteer, get a fun job--and settle into the college or work routine when you're ready.
Oh, one more thing: a friend of mine likes to say: If you want an education, read a book. Go to college if you want to get laid.