I'm unclear on whether you are asking if a design degree is critical for a new hire candidate, or whether it's worth going to d-school.
Either way, I think you might want to research design programs a bit more. It's easy to look at design from the outside and think to yourself that it's all pretty easy requiring nothing but an outsider's perspective. I suspect that's why there is so much crappy software out there. In actuality, it takes talent, a real commitment to the craft, and some actual training.
There are a number of great schools doing more than teaching typography (actually very important as both a craft skill and a foundational design discipline). Look at Academy of Art, the d.school at Stanford, Pratt, RISD, Parsons, Art Center, UC Davis, etc. We recruit a lot at CMU and Univ of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
As someone who has hired more than a few designers over the last few decades, I have to say that a formal education at this point is pretty valuable. I would't staff a an entry level IxD or VxD position with someone "self-taught" when there are so many talented designers coming out of school, either undergrad or graduate programs. And, I wouldn't staff a more senior position with someone self-taught unless they had a very complete and strong portfolio. And, no young person is going to get that kind of portfolio without significant work experience. And, that first job is going to be tough to get without credentials and a student portfolio. And, so on and so on.
10-15 years ago, this wasn't the case. There was no such thing as "UX" it was "Information Architecture" and "website design" and design schools had less expansive digital design programs. Then, you did find people who, while I would't call them self-taught, came from other disciplines from print design to industrial psychology (my undergrad) to MBA (my grad) to project management, etc. We all got the jobs because nobody else was around and we were all making it up as we went along. But, alas, now, there are people with actual talent and training and I'm just lucky to be their boss :-)
Post a link to the article you mention, it's probably a good read.