From when I’ve talked to recruiters and personal interviews with people who use freelancers, the thing they stressed most was a competent portfolio of projects. Didn’t matter if they were personal. Make sure you include a highly visible link to your portfolio to any job or freeelance opportunity you apply for. TBH, degrees are increasingly a benchmark for a minimum amount of aptitude and, even then, many clients ignore them. A friend who is a developer encouraged me to work on one or two rather complex, well-designed apps and promote those rather than many small ones for displaying skills.
If you’re looking for an ‘online degree’ type of program, be careful! Some out there are very expensive and they’ll promise that you’ll be a fullstack developer in a matter of a couple of weeks or months. This is impossible; expect to become a good developer in at least a year, if not more.
I’ve heard VikingCode is pretty good, though take it with a grain of salt. Last time I looked at their site, you start out free through their program. When you get a developer job, they take a percentage of your first year’s pay, I think.
TL;DR Yes, but make sure you have a good portfolio at the very least.