First off, this is just my personal advice. Others may offer other advice and certainly there are as many paths to success as there are individuals in this world.
Quant trading/investing is a pretty specialized field. It's also pretty new. Take a look at some of the jobs that are currently being advertised. Maybe look here or Monster.com. Browse through the jobs and see what the job descriptions and qualifications are.
From what I saw most, if not all, require a Bachelor degree or higher. So, yes, I'd recommend a university degree.
I'd suggest getting a solid understanding in three areas 1) programming 2) statistics 3) finance and economics. You don't need to be an expert in any of these, but you do need to understand each of these fields enough to know what you don't know and where/who to go for answers.