Back during the Internet bubble any hack could have come in and gotted a Software Engineer title. Now a days it's a buyers market. Employers not only feel they can hire the cream of the crop, some aren't taking anyone who went to state. So yeah and meaningful degree is a good start to your foundation. But by itself won't open any doors right now.
Nobody in Northern California now, is hiring anyone straight out of college. A lot of the recruiters I know say nobody will hire you if you don't already have a job. I got my last job because I worked with the manager before and impressed the hell out of him. You need every edge you can get right now to land a job.
Hopefully when you score your degree things will pickup, and there will be some entry level positions open, or you get some great internships while getting your degree. I can also tell you to make as many friends in high places as you can. It's a small industry and you will hear for the same people over again.
> I recently decided that I didn't like the way my CS degree path is going and
> have now switched to something more towards my current job (information systems
> security). How is you're experience with degrees relating to your job (or lack
> there of)?
> I won't be "using" mine for another 12 years... so to me it seems like my degree
> will be essentially worthless by then. I always heard experience is the more
> useful resume filler.