I may add that it is important to get a formal education, with a diploma at the end. I do not say this lightly, because it took me about 10 years to complete my laurea (and it should have taken 4, but I started working).
Why do I insist on the diploma ? Because it is magic paper, when it comes to looking for a job. In some countries, your paycheck is rigidly linked to your education level. In others, they will not even look at you if you cannot show a diploma.
You may say (I have, at a certain point) "fuck it, I am the cooles, smartest alpha geek around here. I can always get a job". You may be right, for the next ten years probably. And then what happens ? What you do is not so cool. You need to look in some other areas. But you cannot, because people will not hire you without a diploma.

Consider how life is outside the high-tech company world. Think you can get a good job at UN, or CEE or ISO or even teaching CS101 in the suckiest Italian university without a formal degree ? Think twice.

Basically education widens your opportunities, formally recognized education more so.