I've been spending the past three years as an autodidact for computer science and physics, in lieu of a degree. Main reason for this being that high school classes bored me, so I did poorly in them, and there were no CS classes available at the time. I decided at the age of seventeen to begin learning CS and pursue an equivalency instead, which I have.
However, now I am starting to see that I'd like to branch into observatory astronomy and integrate my data-science knowledge, as I notice an ever increasing necessity for people with both these skills. However, the space community seems to feel a lot more strongly about having a degree, more specifically a PhD (which I personally disagree with but that's getting off topic).
My question is, what possible options do I have? Should I continue being an autodidact and try to prove myself without a degree? Or suck it up and pursue one? If lack of a doctorate is out of the question, what's the most efficient track to a university with the competency level appropriate for me? My biggest problem is time. I want to do as little side tracking as possible, and stay on track with my current competency level.