You don't need a degree to code.
Yes it helps, I've completed a Master's course in Advanced Computer science. I've explored a range of subjects
and pushed my boundaries, but it's not necessary. Just go out there and build something.
There's three skills in IT. Building things (writing code), Maintaining things (Sysadmin) and breaking things (hacking).
Java and Python are good starting points for code.
Another program to write code: VS Code
A paid for program to write code Intellij
Linux is a free open source operating system which powers most of the Internet. The easiest versions to use are Ubuntu
and Linux Mint
Maintaining it is the discipline of System Administration.
Run a version from a USB key on your PC to try it before installing, or buy a raspberry Pi and get acquainted with it. Linux foundation Certified Sysadmin
Hacking: Get an old copy of Windows XP and try to break into it. Certified Ethical Hacker.