This is going to sound critical, and please don't take it personally.. but..
Depends on the employer, and I think you're romanticizing it just a bit.
The BA or BS in North America (I don't know where you're from) is the new high school diploma, largely due to the highly variable quality of high school grads. It gives HR a very quick way in tough economic times to cut down the volume of applicants they have to go through.
In the 70s, 80s and 90s the thinking was that perseverance is demonstrated by completing a degree; now it's just a field in a data set that helps determine if a person will ever see your application. Then you have the idea of a 'well-rounded' employee; go to a high volume MSP and see if they give a fuck.
In addition, learning models are changing; you have University of Phoenix which is fully accredited while shitting in the swimming pool with crap degrees while you have Western Governors with competency based education that I think is pretty nifty.
Put it this way: I have two undergraduate degrees with honors, one technical, one in social science, both from very reputable state schools. I also have a year long diploma in component level electronic systems repair (which covered digital logic and assembly language) from the military and some certs. Guess which one has come in handy the most? Yeah, I'll put that military diploma and certs up against anything except BS in Comp Sci, Math, or Electrical Engineering any day of the week.