If you really love programming, you might want to make it your full-time career. You'll be able to make good money designing and coding programs, from low-level embedded systems all the way up to websites. However, this is much more difficult than simply learning a language or two and usually requires a college degree. The reason for this is that if you get a degree, you'll learn far more than just basic info about a language. You'll also learn advanced math and computer science concepts that will improve your coding algorithms.
Additionally, many jobs require a degree. They show to a potential employer that you are knowledgeable about computer programming. This is especially true if you have gotten internships while in college, as that demonstrates that not only do you know the theory, but you can actually code and have work experience as well. All in all, getting a programming career will be much easier with a degree in Computer Science or a related field.
If you do get a degree, you should look for jobs in a field that you focused on while in college. For example, if your internships were working with embedded systems programming, it should be easy for you to get a full-time job doing that.
Other people choose to go the freelance route. This lets you "be your own boss", so to speak since you aren't tied down to any single company. Instead, you work on various programming projects for a variety of people. This allows great flexibility and benefits but also increased risk. You can work when you want and can choose your projects, but you're always looking for new work since there's no guarantee that there will be additional projects available for you in the future.
It's important to realize that in programming, learning is a lifelong process. New languages and frameworks are constantly being created and today's hottest thing might quickly fall by the wayside soon. For example, web programming has evolved from simple HTML code to the LAMP stack to today's widespread use of web frameworks. Windows programming used to depend extensively on the Win32 libraries, but many programs use .NET now. The mobile platform, formerly based around BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, now is almost exclusively focused on iOS and Android.
Computer programming can be a great career choice, but it isn't an easy one. Not only do you generally need a college degree, but you also need to have a wide scope and knowledge and constantly be expanding it in order to stay employable.