While I would be the last to say that education was not important, neither would I say that many IT support positions require a great degree of higher education. Early in my career there was quite a bit of emphasis on getting various certifications, such as Novell, Microsoft, or Cisco. I remember training institutions almost guaranteeing their students a high-paying position if they only finished their MCSE.
At one point I actually had an applicant who was looking for a job on my IT support team, and was asking for over $70k annually for the privilege. This was almost solely based on the acquisition of an MCSE certification, as their previous role was working in the produce department of a local supermarket! Needless to say, they did not get the job.
As a hiring manager, my personal focus is really on three things. Experience, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn. Years of experience trump education, being enthusiastic about the job is critical, and having an eager desire to learn frequently leads to innovation.
When I would interview potential employees, if I thought they had promise one of the thing I would often do is take them on a tour of the facility, with emphasis on the technical areas such as the network and server rooms, build rooms, and so forth. If the applicant show obvious enthusiasm it gave them a leg up in the hiring process.
Some of my very best employees were those that were enthusiastic and eager to learn. Their curiosity about technology led to some great innovations and ultimately they advanced into other roles, either more technical or even into management.