Which is better experience without a degree or degree without experience?
Our recommendation is always "degree first" - the job market is highly competitive, and goal #1 should be to build a CV that gives you an edge over the "competition". Studying teaches you self-discipline, ability to develop self-drive to get results, communication and collaboration with your student peers etc - all good things for the real-work environment. These skills are very visible in graduate applications we see in our business today. For example, we see much better sales performance from new graduates than others without degrees and "just" some work experience.
HOWEVER, there is a counter-argument for this. A lot of people think that "real-world" experience / "university of life" builds character, builds your network, improves your communication skills, builds your natural "common sense" etc -
all of which are also core competencies you need to demonstrate in a work environment.
But the reality remains that the most significant "door-opener" is still a degree over experience - maybe this will change over time as vocation-based / on-the-job training options grow for school-leavers.
Also remember that an option might be a "sandwich" degree ... where you have a period of work experience as part of your degree. Or you take a gap year BEFORE your degree - with some work and travel mixed in. This could look good for many employers.