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How to Become a Professor in India
Knowledge does not exist without a teacher. Without a good teacher, students can't excel in their life. The success of any college or institution depends on the quality of education and of teachers. What is the road to becoming a professor or lecturer? The road requires sheer hard work and sacrifice. But teaching at colleges is indeed a booming career path.
4 Steps to Becoming a College Professor
To become a college professor, you should follow the steps below:
- Step 1: You should opt for a stream of your choice (science, commerce or arts) in Class 12th.
- Step 2: After completing Class 12th, you should opt for the bachelor's degree. It is important that you clear graduation with good percentages.
- Step 3: You should apply for the postgraduate program and score at least 55%, since this is the minimum eligibility to appear for the NET (National Eligibility Test)—the qualifying examination for teaching in a college.
- Step 4: Either sit for the NET exam or apply to do research work in your university. Teaching in a college requires an M.Phil or Ph.D. degree. A candidate who possesses a doctoral degree gets an edge over other applicants.
To be recruited as a professor in a university or institution, it is mandatory to clear the NET (National Eligibility Test) / SET (State Eligibility Test) examination. Usually, NET is conducted by the UGC (University Grants Commission) twice a year, in June and December. Candidates who have successfully cleared NET are eligible to apply for the lecturer posts in all Indian universities, institutes and colleges, but SET qualified candidates will be eligible for appointment of the lecturer post only in universities and colleges in the state where they have cleared the SET exam.
Duties of a Professor
- Preparing a syllabus for each class
- Preparing examinations
- Calculating grades
- Meeting students outside the class for help
- Integrating new learning into current classes
- Advising students regarding course selection
- Supervising the research work of graduate students
- Reading, making suggestions on and evaluating thesis proposals of graduate students
- Participating in Ph.D. comprehensive examinations
- Participating in departmental faculty meetings
Skills Required for Professor Jobs
Passion for teaching and interest in the subject
Good communication skills
Interest in research work
Ability to solve complex problems
Ability to monitor and encourage people
Ability to persuade
Top Employers in India
Some of the top institutions in India paying the highest salary to an assistant professor or lecturer are:
Salary and Perks
On an average, an assistant professor can earn anywhere between Rs 16000-40,000/month in India. A professor can earn between Rs 38000-68,000/month.
Apart from that, a college professor gets paid summer, winter and autumn holidays. Some colleges offer accommodation to their teaching staff within the campus. Some of the other perks include conveyance and medical facilities.
Salary Range of Assistant Professors by Educational Sector in India
|Sector||Salary (per annum)|
General Education (post -econdary institutes)
Rs 2-8 lakh
Rs 3-8 lakh
Mechanical Engineering Institutes
Rs 1,85,330-Rs 6,66,485
Biotechnology Institutes/ Research & Development Institutes
Rs 1,89,209-Rs 6,24,183
Where Can You Find Professor Jobs?
There is no dearth of good job opportunities for those who want to kick-start their teaching career as professors. In the coming years, the number of colleges, universities, and professional colleges is going to rise and increase the demand for qualified teaching staff. A lecturer can serve as a reader, assistant professor, professor or associate professor, or eventually become the department head. All the universities and colleges in India follow the guidelines detailed by the University Grants Commission (UGC). It is the only statutory body in India that looks after the maintenance and standards of institutions in higher education. Before you apply for any job with a college, it is crucial to check the list of reputed institutions which are issued by UGC every year. It will help you to start your career in the right direction.
You can find both assistant professor and professor jobs in any of the following:
- Government colleges
- Private colleges, both aided and non-aided
- Research institutes
If we closely look at below table then we will find that there is a great demand of professors in IITs, where there is a severe faculty crunch. Apart from offering a handsome salary package, teaching at an IIT is highly prestigious.
Cities in India With the Highest Number of Assistant Professor/Lecturer Jobs
Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal
Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Indore, Madhya Pradesh
As per the UGC (University Grants Commission) rules and regulations, an assistant professor/ lecturer holding a PhD degree, will be promoted to Associate Professor after the completion of 12 years of service. Similarly, candidates with an M. Phil degree or a postgraduate degree in a professional course will be moved to the Associate Professor post after the completion of 13 years of service.
Other Work Areas for a Professor
There is a misconception that anybody can teach, which is not at all correct. Impeccable knowledge of the subject matter, clarity of thought, zeal, articulation ability and passion are some of the attributes that a teacher should possess. If you have a deep passion for teaching, then it is the right career choice for you.
Some hesitate to take up teaching as a career choice because of the package. But thanks to the pay commission, professors usually get salaries that are pretty high by industrial standards. The ascending hierarchy in the teaching field is Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor/Reader.
Teaching is a continuous learning process, and it can take you to a completely different academic level if you have the patience, ability and passion to keep your ears and eyes open all the time. When you have a good college teaching experience, it opens up many other options, and some of them are detailed below.
Many academic institutes have established their tie-ups with different industries and research organizations through Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) which helps in augmenting faculty research, consultancy and technology exchange programs. You need to have a good experience because then only you will be considered eligible to take up this leap.
A faculty member who decides to do consultancy should:
• Adhere to regulations and rules of institutes and make sure that the work does not disturb your normal teaching.
• Pick those subjects in which you have expertise and interest.
• Create a guideline for pricing (e.g. travel time, teaching, initial meetings) but make sure you are flexible enough.
By taking up a consultancy job, you not only get monetary benefits on top of your salary, but you can accomplish your dream of doing something like your industry counterparts. Many reputed colleges like IITs and private colleges have entered into tie-ups with industries. Nowadays, consultancy has become the independent profession.
Some areas where consultancy opportunities exist are:
2. Leading Training Sessions and Seminars
The audience for your teaching skills doesn't have to be college students. Typically, training sessions are held for corporations. You can become a certified trainer and take it up as your career choice. Corporate trainers teach topics people usually don't study in their formal education, including business writing etiquette, communication skills, presentation skills, and public speaking. Academic bodies like ISTD (Indian Society of Training & Development) and XLRI (Jamshedpur) offer these types of certifications.
Before you jump into a profession as a trainer, you must ensure you have:
- Lots of creativity which you may need to make conversation interesting
- A mature thought process
- The spontaneity to deal with any tough problem
You can associate with an institute or also work as a freelancer. Below are some of the main areas where trainers are required:
- Technology related training
- On the job training (OJT)
- Behavioral training
- Human resources training
Research in India is a limited field, but still government bodies encourage youth to take it up as a career choice. Funding agencies in India like AICTE, DAE, TIFR, and UGC are also encouraging the young generation to come forward.
Universities encourage more and more faculty members to take up research, especiallty at those colleges which aim towards upgrading and rejuvenating their faculty resources.
If a new faculty member has decided to take up research activities, he should be able to do the following things:
- Work in a team
- Be ready to think beyond the track
- Work for longer hours
- Open to the idea of going for higher studies
There are many benefits of taking up research activities. Besides job satisfaction & security, you get research grants apart from your basic salary. IBM has signed a research tie-up with IIT Guwahati.
Some areas where you can do research work are:
- Medicine, engineering, computer science
- Finance, management, accounting
- Classic and ancient history, music, performing arts
Other Career Ideas for College Teachers
As a professor, you could consider starting your own coaching classes. This profession has a great future and seems recession-proof. Nowadays, coaching for engineering entrance examinations is much in demand: coaching classes charge around Rs 3000-5000 per subject and each batch has nearly 75-90 students.
If you don't become a full-time teacher, you can impart education as a part-time or visiting teacher. The salary could vary anywhere between Rs 30,000 to 1 lakh/month. Thanks to the advent of technology, online tutoring is enjoying great prominence these days. You can teach students, sitting in any part of the world, through Skype. Also, you can create different educational videos and sell them over the internet. It is a win-win situation for both students and teachers. This field is highly lucrative because you get the chance to earn in international currency.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Hemanta Ramchiary on May 30, 2019:
Sir,could I become a lecturer/ professor after completing my Msc. In geography (general) in cotton University?
Shrishti on May 21, 2019:
This can really help me
kunal on May 12, 2019:
this can reaily help me
Simran Rawat on January 29, 2019:
Its really useful thank u so much
Dia on January 22, 2019:
Is it possible to become professor without M.ed in Kerala?
M.Saikia on January 20, 2019:
Is the percentage in Master's degree important for applying a professor's job?
Ravani Suru on December 02, 2018:
This is Amazing Career Line, but How to became India's successful Professor . which is Best Field line in commerce who became proffecer.which is best university for studying Proffecer line in India and Gujarat .
Bharath on December 01, 2018:
Its a nice post to read however i personally feel that the teachers are being paid way too low in an engineering colleges here in Bengaluru. I am working as an assistant professor in one the reputed college and still the pay is incredibly low. The fresh M.Tech grad can get as low as Rs.16,000 to Rs.21,000/- per month in Bengaluru. Right now i have 4 years of experience and getting Rs.29,000/- per month even though i have good academic track record, many publications in hand and very good results (96%) and feedback (98%) from the students. Its the irony of the India that everyone respects the teacher but nobody wants to fight for their salaries. I get a chance to speak to lot of faculties whenever i go to other colleges as external examiner or to some conferences, during a chat, everybody used to say that they regret for choosing this field. We are always motivated for teaching but the way the college management treat us is surely no one could ever imagine. My sincere advise never choose this field if you really want to make some money.
PS: The things that you had put up here constitutes for premier institutes such as IIT's, NIT's, or Universities which are just 10% of the Indian Education systems. Rest 90% are these private colleges and salaries are way too low for any such teacher in the private colleges.
Kanika on November 12, 2018:
I have a great interest in teaching and I want to teach bio as a subject. I was in 9th class and I want to. Become as a professor In bio
Kanika on November 12, 2018:
The competition in this field is very high
davinder kaur on November 01, 2018:
it is very useful information.
Amit Bhatia on September 06, 2018:
I am an Insurance professional aged 41 years, looking for a career change. I completed B.Com in 1997 and did my Masters of Financial Admin. (M.F.A) in 1999, (both in First Class) from DAVV Indore University as a regular student.
I have done Fellowship in Insurance (F.I.I.I) from Insurance Institute of India in 2016 and also Diploma in Health Insurance in 2017.
Apart from this i have Certifications in Insurance and Mutual Funds and i am a Certfied Investment Advisor from NISM (SEBI).
I have a flair for teaching insurance particularly. But neither Finance nor Insurance is listed as a subject in the list of NET Exam.
Please suggest whether i can choose Management as a subject in NET Exam ?
Also guide how to prepare for the new pattern of NET Exam scheduled in Dec 2018 ?
divya Sivakumar on July 30, 2018:
i complete my Master's degree through course.shall i write the NET/SET exam?
Dharmendra madhesiya on June 30, 2018:
My question is that lecturer and proffessor is same thing
or not. And in 12th there is option to take science or commerce or arts of our choice
Sagar Sonker on June 14, 2018:
I have done B-tech(Biotech) in 2016 and then M.Sc. Now i wanna choose a career of teaching because i have been teaching in an inter college since 2017 and tutions for 6 years. I dont have Bed, what should i do to teach in private inter colleges with out Bed. due to financial problem i cant do bed, plz suggest me the right way.
Thanks and regards,
Rishabh jha on June 08, 2018:
My class 12 th score is really low will it become a hurdle in my journey to become professor
Amrutha on June 06, 2018:
Hi.. Can a science graduate with masters in commerce apply for assistant proffesor in commerce stream
Trayambak on June 01, 2018:
currently I cleared the 12th exam in arts stream and waiting for my result..
I want to become professor ...plz guide me which subject is best for this profession so I can choose that language in UG course. ( I would like to do in English language...is it good or not)...
Shabnam on May 08, 2018:
I'm doing bms n i just give me 6th test now my interest is chang I want to become a professor what step should I follow n what the possible whay for me to become a professor plz guide me
Rizwana on April 11, 2018:
I am studying fyba and I want to become a lecturer for maths(science stream) in degree college .what are the steps for it plz let me know?
S bakan on April 09, 2018:
Riya on April 08, 2018:
is it necessary to opt only for science, commerce or arts in 12th.
Ganesh on March 29, 2018:
I am completed degree. I am interested in teaching(maths) 12th standard students. then what I will do? For next step.
Kumar on March 23, 2018:
Hi Mam, really very informative and appreciable note. I woukd like to know few things like-
1. Can someone be a permanant Assistant Professor immediate after cracking the NET and what should be the best score to acheive?
2. Can someone appear NET for two subjects at a time?
Because as per my knowledge and inquery I found that initially they have to work on Contract basis for a period of 1 to 2 years and they will be paid stipend for that.
3. Is it necessary for Phd candidates to appear for NET to beacome an Assistant Professor?
Could you kindly help me out to find the answers for above questions? I will be really thankful to you.
ananya on March 18, 2018:
thanks a lot for providing all information
Vaishnavi on February 14, 2018:
Thanks for the information.. it's really helpful.
But there is a question... How much score in 12th class we have to fetch??
Like I am an average student but I have a deep passion for teaching.
I'll be waiting for the reply.
Thank you again !!
Dhananjay Singh on February 09, 2018:
I have a question plz help.
Say if i qualified NET/ JRF and did my phd.
Can i become professor directly after that or will i become assistant professor first and after 12 years i will become professor.
Harshit on February 06, 2018:
Does 10th and 12 grades matters in this career.
I've 53% in 10th, 54% in 12th, 59.76% in college graduation and 68% in Masters. I've always involved in other activities due to which scores are way low.
I've deep interest in teaching and want to pursue my career in teaching. Should I apply for NET and begin my career as an assistant professor. Or will my scores hurt my chances of selection and create any further problems.
Niranjan on January 06, 2018:
poovarasan on December 10, 2017:
teachers are second parents
Md Samim Akhtar (from Panditpur,lalgola,msd) on November 28, 2017:
Thanks Reena mam for sharing this very needful and important information to be an aiming professor. My concept about to be an professor have more cleared by this information ....,..,.....
So much thank you Reena ji.
Lavanya on November 22, 2017:
Thanks a lot mam..understood everything deeply..tnx
Parashuram on October 19, 2017:
Thanks for giving this information
Rupesh Kumar on October 12, 2017:
It is great growing tips.
Mithu Roy on August 09, 2017:
Thank you mam for sharing this useful information. It is really helpful for those who seeking a career in education.
Mayank Agrawal on June 13, 2017:
This information is so helpful for me thank you so much
Nagma Shaikh on June 08, 2017:
one can pursue m'ed degree after mcom..what if one didnot achive the required minimum creteria of 55%
shivshankar on May 28, 2017:
I am graduated in BA Programme from
Delhi University in 2011 and now I have enroll for MA in Economics from IGNOU .
I would like to Know that After completion of my MA , Would I be able to take NET Exam and I would be eligible for Assistant Professor after Passing that , if not Kindly suggest me How I c an be Assistant Professor.
RanjeetKumar on May 25, 2017:
Very Good and Thanks a lot for guiding us to become a professor
Param Jethava on April 17, 2017:
I have completed 10 std and i want to become a professor so can anyone just give me advise that which is better science, commerce or any other thing which help me in future...
Bharat on February 05, 2017:
I am a graduate in Mechanical engineering in 2006.
Since then I am working in R&D department in a reputed private organization which manufactures the mining products. Now I have around 9 years of experience in manufacturing & Designing. I have software related experience also. I am doing MBA/Production & Operations management course through distance.
I conduct some training programs in the company to teach my colleagues about the new technologies.
But my dream is to teach students in engineering colleges or polytechnic colleges as a professor.
Is it really possible to get professor job in Government/private sector?
do we have job security?
Do we get salary as expected?
I would like to do Ph.D also at side.
I would like to request suggestions from any one of you which can help me to make my dream possible.
aashi singh on January 06, 2017:
good article for me and very help ful
Asha on November 30, 2016:
Very clear and important information. Thanks for sharing
shweta mankar on November 21, 2016:
Reena thank you very much to provide this important articles. i am so happy for read this article bcoz i was found this information very long time on internet.but finally get it.. this info is very useful in my future life......so so thank you reena once again.
sanjeev on October 20, 2016:
Thanks reema .. very informative
Amit Singh on October 19, 2016:
My Graduation is going on of commerce field and my future plaining is become a teacher of Accouting field I have lot of Ideas of teaching field every time I gonna New Ideas for Changing Teaching system that Dream how to give interesting of my Teaching? Firstly I want to information of become a Teacher Step by step any body pls give me your support to become a teacher
Anupam Ghosh on September 16, 2016:
hello.. i have completed my masters' in economics and now want to make a career in academics. but my undergrad marks is below 50% although i fared fairly in my masters'. how does that affect my chances?
joys on August 16, 2016:
very informative and well organised ...thank you for sharing.
zareen on August 05, 2016:
Thankyou soo much Reena for sharing this information your information is quite clear and well.thanks for sharing how to go through the steps of becoming an instructor. Thankyou.
Deepika on July 20, 2016:
I have earned a bachelor degree and I am studying master degree, should the B:ed degree is needed or he bachelor degree is enough
riya on June 26, 2016:
Thank you for sharing so much information
Michael on March 15, 2016:
Are there opportunities for a person who does a phd in Internationl Relations/ International Studies to be a professor in a college? Are there many colleges in India offering Internationl Relations/ International Studies ? In the long run, do you feel its better to do a phd in Internationl Relations/ International Studies or in History assuming the passion is the same for both fields. Will apreciate your help in this area of thought. Thank you.
Nitesh Kanwar on February 08, 2016:
Quite informative....thanks for sharing.
nitha on February 06, 2016:
Reena Dhiman (author) on October 19, 2014:
@teaches12345 yes In India, it is considered both a noble and lucrative profession. In fact, I personally believe that a a right professor can lay down the foundation of our future. I appreciate your efforts in reading my hub and sharing your views.
Dianna Mendez on October 19, 2014:
As a teacher I can appreciate the work that goes into becoming a professor. Looks like it is a very rewarding profession in India. Thanks for sharing how to go through the steps of becoming an instructor.
Reena Dhiman (author) on October 15, 2014:
@yasirchohan thanks for spending your time on my hub. You are right that our countries are different but I am sure you will definitely find some vital things about teaching profession which would be useful to you.
Reena Dhiman (author) on October 15, 2014:
@m abdullah javed thanks a ton for appreciating my hub. I am happy that you like my article and hope that you will use this information in your future assignments.
Yasir chohan from Reisterstown on October 15, 2014:
your information is quite clear and well represented. While our countries are different, I still think I can find practical use for a lot of information mentioned in your article!
muhammad abdullah javed on October 14, 2014:
Hi Reena. Thanks for sharing a very informative hub. You have applied yourself to make it worth. Hope it may serve as a ready reference for the aspirants.