How to Become a College Professor in India
Knowledge does not exist without a teacher. Students can't excel in their life in the absence of a good teacher. The success of any college or institution depends on the quality of education. But the road between a normal person to a professor or lecturer is unruffled. Now a question arises-How to become a professor? Sheer hard work and sacrifice is needed to do a teaching at a college, which is indeed a booming career path.
Here is how to become a college professor in India-
Step-by-step guide to reach the goal-
To become a college professor, you should follow below steps-
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 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 it is the minimum eligibility to appear for the NET (National Eligibility Test)-the qualifying examination for teaching in a college
Step 4= Either you can sit for the NET exam or can apply for doing research work in your university. M.Phil & PhD degrees are required for doing teaching in a college. A candidate who possess doctoral degree gets an edge over other applicants.
For recruitment as professors in universities or institutions, it is mandatory to clear NET (National Eligibility Test) /SET (State Eligibility Test) examination. Usually, NET is conducted by the UGC (University Grants Commission) twice in a year- June & December every year. Those candidates who have successfully cleared NET are eligible to apply for the lecturer posts in all Indian universities/Institutes/colleges, but the SET qualified candidates will be eligible for appointment of the lecturer post only in universities/colleges, belonging to the state from where they have cleared the SET exam.
Duties of a professor-
1 Preparing syllabus for classes
2 Preparing examinations
3 Calculating grades
4 Meeting students outside the class for help
5 Integrating new learning into current classes
6 Advising students regarding course selection
7 Supervising the research work of graduate students
8 Reading, making suggestions and evaluating thesis proposals of graduate students
9 Participating in Ph.D comprehensive examinations
10 Participating in various departmental faculty meetings
Skills required for professor jobs-
Deep passion for teaching and interest for the subject
Good communication skills
Interest in research work
Complex Problem solving ability
Some of the top institutions in India paying highest salary to assistant professor or lecturer are-
Salary & perks
On an average, an assistant professor can earn anywhere between Rs 16000-40,000/month in India; while a professor can fetch an amount between Rs 38000-68,000/month.
Apart from that, a college professor gets paid summer, winter and autumn holidays. Even some colleges offer accommodation to their teaching staff within the campus also. Some of the other perks include-conveyance and medical facilities.
Salary range of assistant professors in different education sectors in India-
Salary (per annum)
General Education (post secondary institutes)
Rs 2-8 lakh/annum
Rs 3-8 lakh/annum
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 career in teaching field as professors. In the coming years, a number of colleges, universities, professional colleges, etc., is going to rise. This will help in increasing the demand of qualified teaching staff. A lecturer can serve as a reader, assistant professor, professor or associate professor and can 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 fields-
- Government Colleges
Private both aided and non-aided colleges
Research InstitutesIf 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 packages, teaching at IIT is highly prestigious.
Cities producing highest number of abundant assistant professor/lecturer jobs in India
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 the Associate Professor post after the completion of 12 years of service. Similarly, those candidates which are working with an M. Phil degree or a postgraduate degree in a professional course will be then 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 towards teaching, then it is the right career choice for you.
There is always an air of hesitation in taking up teaching as a career choice mainly because of the package. Thanks to the pay commission, professors usually get salaries that are pretty high as compared to the industrial standards. The hierarchy in this field can be like that- 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 patience, ability and passion to keep your ears and eyes open all the time. When you get a good college teaching experience, many other options are opened, 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. If a faculty member has decided to do consultancy then he 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 apart from your salary, but your dream of doing something like your industry counterpart is also accomplished. Many reputed colleges like IITs and private colleges have entered into tie-ups with industries. Nowadays, the consultancy has become the independent profession. Some of the areas where consultancy opportunities exist are-
2= Training sessions & seminars
This is a field where it is not necessary that the audience should be college students. Typically, training sessions are held for corporate. You can become a certified trainer and take it up as your career choice. Corporate trainers teach such topics, which people usually don't study in their formal education, like business writing etiquette, communication skills, presentation skills, public speaking and various other technical skills. There are academic bodies like ISTD (Indian Society of Training & Development) and XLRI (Jamshedpur) which are offering these types of certifications.
Before you jump into this profession, it is crucial to ensure that you have-
- Lots of creativity which you may need to make conversation interesting
- Mature thought process
- Spontaneity to combat with any tough problem
Either you can associate with an institute or can 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
3= Research activities
Research in India is a limited field, but still lot of efforts are put by government bodies to encourage youth to take it up as a career choice. Different funding agencies like AICTE, DAE, TIFR, UGC, etc., in India are also encouraging the young generation to come forward.
Various faculty research programs are conducted by the universities to bolster more & more faculty members to take up research activities. It is mainly done at those colleges which aim towards upgrading and rejuvenating their faculty resources. If a new faculty member has decided to take up research activities, then he should be ready for the following points-
• You should be able to work in a team
• Always ready to think beyond the track
• Able to work for longer hours
• Should be interested to go 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 of the areas where you can do research work are-
• Medicine, Engineering,Computer science etc.
• Finance, Management, Accounting etc.
• Classic and ancient history, Music, Performing arts etc.
As a professor, you get an edge over others and therefore, it is also feasible to start your own coaching classes. This profession has a great future and it is recession proof also. Nowadays, coaching for engineering entrance examinations has become a rage. Coaching classes charge around Rs 3000-5000/subject and each batch has nearly 75-90 students.
Either you can become a full-time teacher or can impart education as a visiting teacher. The salary could vary anywhere between Rs 30,000- 1 lakh/month. Thanks to the advent of technology, online tutoring is enjoying a 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.
The job of a college teacher not only covers teaching graduate and post graduate students, but it is also deeply involved in research activities. At this point of time, the relationship of a student-teacher is that of a guide and mentor, and therefore, as a professor, he plays an imperative role.