I'm sure that certifications are looked on very highly by some companies. Most notably, the companies that are producing the exams. Certifications have never been a positive influence in deciding on which resume to extend an interview invitation towards for our team. An accredited university degree is, but not a certification.
(For the record, I never said "a computer science degree". I do not have such a degree, my manager has a BSc in Engineering and a PhD in Math, we have arts degrees, and others, and a few comp sci degrees, too, just for good measure.)
Your best bet is to get a degree. If that is not possible (for any number of reasons upon which I shall not pass judgement), go for a diploma (in Canada, this is quite different from a degree). But be aware of the reputation of the diploma-granting institution - some diplomas are worth more than others. If you can't do either of these, you may have problems in the industry, and you may want to find another line of employment.
If, however, you're already through this, and you just want to prove your perl machismo, certification is probably not useful. Write useful modules, put them on CPAN. Write books. I hear people get job offers over those types of things. ;-)