With the amount of unemployed IT people out there, we see a lot of fluff in resumes where experience is claimed (circular file). However, experience should be backed up with formal education. I have a lot more respect for people that go that extra mile to get a degree. It doesn't even have to be a degree in IT, believe or not. It is the ability to survive the process and see it through to the end.
The one thing I can't stand is a person that doesn't know how to write, document, communicate, and follow processes. That is another reason why a formal Ed. is important as well. However, there are those with a formal degree, even a master's or doctorate, that have the brain of a Cro-Magnon. Just take a look at your own organization and you will find them here and there.
As far as certs go, it all depends when, why, and how they got them. They are not that important to me, but it is a fact that due to the competition in the field, company's are asking for certain certs. One would be wise to read the writing on the wall as anything can happen in today's economy. This is to say that although we may not find cert's important, some companies, not the individual, may mandate it as a requirement.
My list would be as what was originally suggested.
Keep Up with TechRepublic