Do not take this as an endorsement to not go to school!!!! Any education is a benefit for any one. If you find yourself wanting a credential of some sort and can't afford school or don't have the time, I suggest the ACF Certification Program. It will done great job of helping you flex those skills and is readily asked for my tons of restaurants as either a prerequisite for employment or a definite plus on your side when deciding who to hire.
No matter what path you choose good luck and God Bless.