John, Ann, and Rija have all given great answers, I just wanted to give my take on your question in my field as well. Essentially, I'm sure you have gathered that the general answer is "it depends"! It depends on the field of work that you're interested in, it depends on how much schooling you want to do, it depends on what you want to do with your life!
Personally, in the field of exercise physiology, you cannot do too much with an associates degree. It is standard to have a bachelor's degree in my field in order to ensure that exercise physiologists have a standard body of knowledge before they practice their craft. However, I have my master's degree, and with that it opens some different doors for me. I am able to have a higher level certification in my field, and it opens a few more doors for job opportunities. If I really wanted to, I could get a PhD in the field of exercise physiology, but I would only really do that if I want to be in academia, meaning if I wanted to teach exercise science courses at the collegiate level. I personally don't want to do that, I want to practice in my field, so I would not get my PhD.
Then, there is my very good friend who has multiple degrees. She got her undergraduate (bachelor's) degree in music, specifically flute performance. Then, she got her master's degree in music theory. Now, after taking a couple of years off to save money and work, she has completed a degree in law, so she is going to be a lawyer.
My last example is going to be my partner, who has dipped his toe in a lot of different fields. He started out going to school for music, specifically music education. Then, after about a year and a half or so into the program, he switched out of the school of music and tried other majors. He tried business classes, engineering classes, psychology classes, communication classes, and ended up with a communication degree. He worked in the field for a little while, decided it wasn't for him, and started taking science-based classes in order to apply to physical therapy schools. He got a job in and around the field of physical therapy at a nursing home, and then another job in a hospital while he was taking these pre-requisite classes, and decided that he would rather go into nursing. He is now in a nursing program, and will have a second bachelor's degree in nursing at the end of the year!
In conclusion, there are a lot of options in between getting an associate's degree and getting a doctoral degree! And, you don't have to decide to do all or nothing in one field! Something I remembering hearing in either high school or my first year of college was that at the beginning of your schooling, you are a wet piece of clay. You have the opportunity to be molded into anything that you want! And you don't dry out too quickly at all. You might decide you want to be molded into a bowl, but partway to being molded into a bowl you decide you'd rather become a coffee mug, and from there it's pretty easy to switch gears again and try to become a plate. I wish you luck on your journey! Just listen to your heart and what you are passionate about, talk to advisors and teachers and professors along the way, and get advice from them as well. You're going to go far!
It all depends on what you want to do. As John stated, most of the fields I have looked into, they require at least a bachelors degree, some even require at least a masters degree. What are you interested in the most? If you are interested in doing just your associates, there are many fields you can go into. The ones I can think of are medical assistant, respiratory therapist, ultrasound tech, computer programming, dental hygienist, etc... If you're struggling with figuring out what you want to do, I suggest taking some classes that might spike your interest and go from there! From there, you will also decide if you want to continue further with your education. I hope this helps!
When finish a doctoral degree, the usual career path is to continue doing research and teaching in college. Do you have interest on research and teaching?
Usually, it is rare that the college would give an offer to take doctoral degree after you finish your high school.
On the other hand, if you take a bachelor degree, you can work in the relevant industry or continue your study.
I suggest you can take the bachelor degree first. You can find out / think about what you want to do in the few years while studying in the undergraduate degree.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
If you don't love school it's OK to find a good career path without going to college for 8 years or even 4. For example, the US has a huge shortage of pilots and aviation school takes much less time than a Bachelor's degree and is extremely hands on. I would recommend you think about the type of student you are and look at career paths that match the education style that fits with you. Don't feel you have to get a degree because that is the expectation. Good luck!