If the goal is to shoot weddings and portraits then 4 years at RIT or an MFA really aren't going to be that much help and you are better off apprenticing yourself. But if you want to have a commercial studio doing advertising or fashion, or work as an art director, then a degree is very much worthwhile. If you want to teach photography or curate then an MFA degree is a minimum requirement.
Like other arts, raw talent will trump education any time, but that sort of talent is very, very rare. Those who have it don't need to ask questions.