I recently decided to apply for either a Ph.D. or a second-master program in computer science in the US.
Educational Background: I earned my undergraduate degrees in economics and mathematics (average GPA 3.2) from a university outside the US and got my master degree this past summer in quantitative finance (GPA is slightly higher than 3.5) in a US university ranked around 60 nationally.
That said, I had a few project and invited-talk experiences during my master program that are related to CS, also, I had a working experience in a fin-tech startup as a software engineer since April (I am using my OPT now to work after graduation). My only undergraduate experience relating to CS is a short summer internship as a quant in a non-US investment bank.
I also consider the possibility of applying for a second master in CS first and then preparing for a Ph.D. while reading my second master. Honestly, I know this may sound over-educated because this can take even longer time (say, 1.5-year second master plus 5-year Ph.D.) before I can come out of campus and look for a job. But there is an advantage: I suspect my current background makes it hard to enroll in a decent Ph.D. program now (I am not even talking about top universities/programs, the list below may give you a sense of the levels of schools in my mind), but by first reading a master in CS, maybe it will be easier for me to apply for a better Ph.D. program in the future?
None of my referees are working in the university I am applying for (two are from my graduate program and one is my current employer)
I don't have the working opportunity after the second master so that I have to read a Ph.D. later to find a job afterward. The only reason for applying a second master is it makes a Ph.D. application easier;
The invited talks mentioned above are like some developer community seminar/meetup, and I don't have published papers
Should I just go for a Ph.D. now or consider a second master in CS first?