|We don't bite newbies here... much
I think dragonchild hit what I was getting at on the head. Going to college didn't necessarily teach me what I now do on my job (I learned a new language and a new architecture since I've gotten here), but it taught me how to learn these things. I think that's what most employers see in a college degree. Granted, you might be an awesome Perl programmer but what happens in 5 years if your company decides to change to a JSP architecture? Will you know how to learn that? IMO, many employers feel that they are buying that flexibility when they hire someone that has a degree over someone that doesn't.
Skepticism is the source of knowledge as much as knowledge is the source of skepticism.