No you don't need a college degree. But you do need to write and learn. alot of authors are self-taut. No formal education. And what I mean by self taut. Read books and articles on writing and grammar and punctuation, character and scene development, etc. etc. That's just the tip of the iceberg.
If you have an idea for a novel, start writing it. Don't worry about your technique. Just get your story down on paper. this is called your rough draft. Worry about rewriting it later after you've learned some things on writing.
This is what I did. I had an urge to write so I wrote my first novel, not knowing much about writing.
I started researching on the internet for articles and such on how to write. ( I write romance and erotica. )
I learned alittle. THen I joined a critique partnership group and that was my godsend. I learned so much by having other authors critique my work, and in turn I critiqued there's.
If there's one thing that I strongly recommend,a critique group is it. There are several on the net.
I wouldn't consider sending any of my work to a publisher without being critiqued first. There's many things that you don't see in your own work.
Good luck and write, write, write. You get better the more you write. And its an ever evolving process. you never stop learning and improving.
personally, after a couple of years of writing on my own and then another year and a half with a critique partnership, I now have 2 stories that are polished and ready for submission. They are both at publishing companies. I am awaiting word. You will get ALOT of rejections. this is a part of a writing career. don't let that stop you. Keep writing and keep submitting. On my 2nd submission, I didn't sell because she felt it didn't have enough conflict, but the editor liked my writing so much, that she invited me to send any other work that I have. I did and waiting on word on that one. I then submitted the one that she thought didn't have enough conflict to another company, and waiting word.
So you see, it can be done, but it takes alot of work and alot of time.
good luck to you.