Age should not be an issue. I began my studies in my late 30s. So as long as you have a keen mind you should be fine. As far as employment, Im sure there are laws in the UK against Age Discrimination.
Personally I would employ people with a degree over people with a certification. Just about anyone can learn to regurgitate answers in order to pass a cert exam. However studying for a degree takes several years and tests students knowledge more thoroughly. But then again there are some young whippersnappers that could write their own OS with one hand tied behind their back and have neither a degree or a cert. So what does a piece of paper really tell you?
The most important thing would be to do something you enjoy. If you get a job doing that it is just a bonus.