You need credibility indicators, including the degree. Firstly, to make it past the automated resume filters. Secondly, to connect with often non-technical hiring managers. Start the process to finish the degree. In the breaks between degree work, get certifications in technologies that pay well. Yes, there are lots of people who have certs, but don't know really know anything useful. But I usually hear about them, because they actually got through to the interview rounds before getting found out. If you actually have IT/Tech chops, and have (the desired) certs, and are working on your degree, getting a decent job, while still not easy, will be at least easy-er. Finally, if you have time, do a good job at some volunteer IT work for a charity in return for a recommendation. Or do a really good job at some reasonable, concrete contract work and make a recommendation part of the compensation if they're happy. Hiring is a tough process for the hiring manager. Try to make his/her job easier with respect to hiring you.