I am 23 years old and finishing my associate degree (3 years part-time) in Computer Science. I've been thinking about pursuing a career in academia; I've started to do research and got a paper accepted to a relevant conference in my field (pattern recognition).
I already have some experience in industry (4 years software development), so it's something I've tasted before, but nowadays I see academia fulfilling me better in the long term (big thanks to this post).
My goal would be to grow a career in academia (pattern recognition) and work as a consultant on the side.
Would count against me to go directly to Masters without a Bachelor? Or is there some better option? My concern is that my associate's degree didn't have a good mathematical foundation; it was focused on market-related technologies (programming languages, databases, software engineering, testing).
At this moment I've been thinking about two different paths I could take:
Take 2 more years to get a bachelor's degree, and then go to master's (at age 25). This would allow me to grow more (both in foundation but also in maturity aspect) and make the most out of my master's.
Go straight to Masters I believe I would have a really hard time with this, due to concepts I haven't seen before (calculus and linear algebra). Certainly I would try to learn beforehand, but this kind of knowledge takes time to grow. At this time I feel that I wouldn't make the most of it, but it would save me two years.
Note, I am in Brazil. College is free, and the only requirement for a master's program is to have an undergraduate degree, which both associate's and bachelor's are, so this wouldn't be an impediment.