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How To Become a Professor Easily

The journey to becoming a Professor involves crucial steps, including selecting the appropriate subject combination, preparing for and clearing entrance exams, choosing reputable colleges, and pursuing relevant degrees. Read more career blogs at college49.

Who is a Professor?

A Professor, possessing a doctorate or equivalent degree, serves as a scholarly expert who imparts knowledge at various colleges and universities. Professors specialize in diverse academic subjects and fields, engaging in research within their area of expertise. To embark on a career as a Professor, candidates must complete a Ph.D. in a relevant subject from a recognized university. Aspiring Professors after the 12th can pursue Ph.D. courses in various streams, aligning with their desired specialization. Besides educational qualifications, candidates must cultivate essential professional skills such as effective communication, interpersonal abilities, and the capacity to present and explore new ideas.

Professors hold different designations and specializations, such as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Head of Department (HOD). Ph.D. admissions are based on entrance exams like UGC NET and CSIR. Once candidates pass the entrance exams, they undergo rounds of Group Discussions (GD) and Personal Interviews (PI) to secure admission into a Ph.D. course. The average course fees typically range from INR 20,000 to 1,50,000. India boasts several renowned Ph.D. colleges where candidates can pursue their doctoral studies. Check: Professor Qualifications

In most countries, Professors are regarded as teachers of the highest rank. In India, the average salary of a Professor is INR 5.11 LPA, which can exceed INR 35 LPA depending on experience and the type of institution. Monthly salaries for Professors in India fall within the range of INR 40,000 to INR 90,000. The salary of a Professor also varies based on their designation. An Associate Professor earns approximately INR 1,50,000 to 3,00,000 per month, while an Assistant Professor earns around INR 50,000 to 75,000 per month.

What does a Professor do?

Here are some of the tasks typically performed by college professors:

  1. Facilitating student admissions
  2. Designing curriculum
  3. Enhancing teaching materials
  4. Teaching and mentoring
  5. Evaluating student performance
  6. Training assistant professors
  7. Assisting in research
  8. Offering student guidance
  9. Participating in academic meetings
  10. Guest lectures and public talks
  11. Conducting research
  12. Publishing academic work
  13. Professional networking

What Do a Professor‘s Skills Have?

Certain skills are:

  • Effective teaching skills
  • Creativity in teaching methods
  • Strong presentation abilities
  • Proficient writing skills for research reports
  • Patience
  • A passion for continuous learning and intellectual growth.
How To Become a Professor Easily
How To Become a Professor Easily 3

What is the Eligibility Criteria for a Professor?

To become a professor in India, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Ph.D. qualification: Candidates should possess a Ph.D. degree in the concerned/allied/relevant discipline. They should have actively engaged in research and have evidence of high-quality published work, with a minimum of 10 publications in refereed journals.
  2. Teaching experience: Candidates should have a minimum of ten years of teaching experience in a university/college or experience in research at the university/national-level institutions/industries. This includes experience in guiding research at the doctoral level.
  3. Educational innovation and contribution: Candidates should have made contributions to educational innovation, including the design of new curricula and courses, as well as the use of technology-mediated teaching-learning processes.
  4. Academic Performance Indicator (API) score: Candidates must meet the minimum score requirement as stipulated in the Academic Performance Indicator (API) based Performance-Based Appraisal System (PBAS). This system evaluates the performance of faculty members based on their academic contributions and achievements.
  5. Master’s degree: Candidates should hold a Master’s degree in a relevant subject with at least 55% marks from an Indian university or an equivalent degree from an accredited foreign university.
  6. National Eligibility Test (NET) qualification: Candidates should have cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), or similar tests accredited by the UGC like State Level Eligibility Test (SLET)/State Eligibility Test (SET).
  7. Relaxation for reserved categories: There is a relaxation of 5% at the graduate and master’s level for candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), and Differently-Abled categories. This relaxation is applicable for both eligibility criteria and assessing a good academic record during direct recruitment to teaching positions.

What is the qualification of a Professor?

To qualify as a professor, you must meet the following qualifications:

  1. Master’s degree: You need to hold a master’s degree in any field with a strong academic track record. Generally, a minimum aggregate of 55% marks is required for general category candidates, while a minimum of 50% marks is necessary for minority or protected group candidates.
  2. Competitive exam score: You are required to have appeared for and cleared one of the recognized competitive exams listed below:
  • National Eligibility Test (NET): Conducted twice a year by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC), the NET is aimed at selecting lecturers for colleges and universities across the country.
  • Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE): Administered annually by the GATE committee, this exam assesses the knowledge of engineering and science subjects. A valid GATE score can be utilized for admission into master’s or doctoral programs.
  • State-Level Eligibility Test (SET): The NTA conducts SET exams in various languages, including English, once a year. Clearing the SET enables you to work as a lecturer in state-level colleges or universities.
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) NET: Conducted twice a year by the NTA, the CSIR NET evaluates candidates in different science fields for lecturer positions or junior research fellowships.
  1. Doctoral degree: Obtaining a doctoral degree through regular mode is an alternative pathway to becoming a professor without necessarily taking the competitive exams mentioned above. A regular-mode Ph.D. involves a thorough research study, evaluation by external examiners, and a viva voce (oral examination). Additionally, you must have published at least two research papers relevant to your field.

What are the courses of a Professor?

To become a professor in India, one needs to pursue a Doctorate (Ph.D.) degree in a relevant field. Here are some of the Ph.D. courses available for different disciplines:

  1. PhD in Science:
  • Course Level: Doctorate
  • Duration: 3-5 years
  • Eligibility: Master’s degree in a relevant discipline with a minimum of 55% aggregate marks
  • Admission Process: Entrance-based
  • Average Course Fee: INR 50,000 – INR 1,00,000
  • Average Salary: INR 6 LPA – INR 20 LPA
  • Top Recruiters: KPMG, Google, Apple, IBM, CITI Bank, BP, BlackRock, Aecom, AMEC, Atkins
  1. PhD in Commerce and Management:
  • Course Level: Doctorate
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Eligibility: Master’s degree in Commerce or equivalent with a minimum of 55% aggregate marks
  • Admission Process: Entrance-based
  • Average Course Fee: INR 30,000 – INR 3,00,000
  • Average Salary: INR 3 LPA – INR 40 LPA
  • Top Recruiters: Businesses, Marketing, Finance sectors, Public Sectors, etc.
  1. PhD in Engineering:
  • Course Level: Doctorate
  • Duration: 2-5 years
  • Eligibility: Master’s degree in Engineering subjects
  • Admission Process: Entrance-based
  • Average Course Fee: INR 30,000 – INR 4,00,000
  • Average Salary: INR 15 LPA
  • Top Recruiters: DRDO, CSIR, HAL, Microsoft, Google, etc.
  1. PhD in Arts:
  • Course Level: Doctorate
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Eligibility: Master’s degree in a relevant subject
  • Admission Process: Entrance-based
  • Average Course Fee: INR 15,000 – INR 2,00,000
  • Average Salary: INR 4 LPA
  • Top Recruiters: Art galleries, Colleges, Boutiques, Fashion Houses, Textile Industry

What are the different types of professors?

There are different types of professors based on their roles and responsibilities in the education sector. These include:

  1. Researcher: A researcher specializes in conducting research activities within their field of expertise. They investigate specific topics, gather data, analyze findings, and publish papers or reports based on their research. Research professors contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their respective fields.

Average Salary: INR 2.17 LPA (Lakh per annum)

  1. Assistant Professor: An assistant professor plays a vital role in academia. They provide guidance and supervision to students, assist senior professors in departmental meetings, and offer academic support. Assistant professors are involved in teaching, curriculum development, conducting exams, and evaluating student performance.

Average Salary: INR 5.67 LPA

  1. Associate Professor: An associate professor holds a higher position in the academic hierarchy. They are responsible for conducting research activities, addressing administrative issues, attending conferences, supervising students, and teaching. This role is considered one of the intermediate ranks in teaching and research.

Average Salary: INR 8.49 LPA

  1. Head of Department (HOD): The Head of the Department (HOD) oversees the management of a specific education department within an institution. They exercise leadership, demonstrate a vision for the department, and empower faculty members. HODs are responsible for the overall functioning of the department, including curriculum planning, faculty development, and maintaining departmental standards.

Average Salary: INR 11.09 LPA

What is the Salary of a Professor?

Candidates can refer to the following table for detailed information on the salary structure of a Professor in India. It is important to note that Professors in government institutions are paid as per the 7th Pay Commission, which means that the Travel Allowance (TA), Dearness Allowance (DA), Gross Salary, and Basic Salary remain the same. Please review the table below for a breakdown of the salary components:

Component Salary Amount (INR) Basic Salary Rs. 1,44,200 Dearness Allowance (DA, 38%) Rs. 54,796 House Rent Allowance (HRA, Class X, 27%) Rs. 38,934 Travel Allowance (TA) Rs. 7,200 DA on TA Rs. 2,736 Gross Salary (Approximate) Rs. 2,47,866

How to Become a Professor in India?

Becoming a professor involves a series of steps that require dedication and academic excellence. Below are the key steps to pursue a career as a college professor:

  1. Select your area of specialization and complete a bachelor’s degree: From an early stage, determine the field in which you aspire to become a professor, such as arts, commerce, or science. Achieve a high score in your 12th Higher Secondary Certification exam, aiming for an aggregate mark of 80-90%. This will increase your chances of being accepted into a bachelor’s degree program of your choice. It is crucial to maintain an outstanding academic record throughout your undergraduate studies, exceeding the minimum requirement of 50-55% aggregate marks.
  1. Pursue a master’s degree: To further your academic journey, appear for the GATE exam and enroll in a master’s degree program aligned with your chosen specialization. Strive to surpass the minimum requirement of 50-55% aggregate marks in your master’s degree. Successfully completing this program with a commendable score can qualify you for positions such as a lecturer or a demonstrator, providing valuable work experience that contributes to your career advancement.
  2. Clear competitive examinations: Once you hold a master’s degree, you become eligible to take competitive exams such as the National Eligibility Test (NET), State Eligibility Test (SET), or the CSIR NET. Qualifying the NET opens up assistant professor opportunities in colleges and universities nationwide, whereas the SET grants eligibility for assistant professor positions within the state where the exam was cleared. By appearing for the CSIR NET, you may secure a lecturer position or a junior research fellowship.
  1. Pursue a doctoral degree: Enroll in a doctoral degree program to enhance your qualifications. Holding a doctoral degree may exempt you from further competitive exams and enable you to directly apply for college professor positions.
  2. Gain practical experience: Consider specializing in a specific field to obtain a professional license that allows you to acquire practical experience. For example, obtaining a nursing license can provide valuable hands-on experience to complement your teaching in the subject area. Additionally, while pursuing your education, you can gain teaching experience through activities such as tutoring, serving as a student instructor, or holding a part-time teaching role. Volunteering for research projects can also offer valuable experience relevant to your future teaching endeavors.
  1. Conduct research and publish academic work: Establish yourself as an authority in your field by producing well-researched blogs, articles, and papers on your personal blog or website. Contribute to academic blogs, websites, magazines, and other publications. Advancing from an assistant professor to an associate professor position typically requires publishing a minimum of five high-quality papers or books. Similarly, to qualify for a professorship, having at least ten research publications is usually expected.
  2. Search for and apply to academic positions: Regularly explore opportunities on college or university websites, online job boards, professional networking groups, and social media platforms. Tailor your resume and cover letter for each application, highlighting your relevant qualifications and accomplishments. Additionally, prepare for job interviews by practicing responses to common interview questions.

1. What are the rewards of being a professor?

Being a professor offers numerous rewards, including the opportunity to shape young minds, contribute to knowledge creation, have job security, enjoy intellectual stimulation, make a positive impact on society, and experience personal and professional growth.

2. How can I become a professor in India?

To become a professor in India, you need to pursue a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline, gain teaching experience, and meet the eligibility criteria set by universities or colleges.

3. : What qualifications do I need to become a professor?

Generally, a Ph.D. degree is required to become a professor. Additionally, having a master’s degree in a relevant field, teaching experience, research publications, and meeting specific eligibility criteria are essential.

4. How long does it take to become a professor?

The time it takes to become a professor can vary. It typically involves completing a bachelor’s degree (3-4 years), master’s degree (2 years), and Ph.D. (3-5 years), along with gaining teaching experience and meeting other requirements.

5. What is the role of a professor?

Professors have multiple responsibilities, including teaching students, conducting research, publishing scholarly work, mentoring students, participating in academic committees, and contributing to the development of their field.

6. How do professors contribute to research?

Professors contribute to research by conducting studies, publishing research papers, securing research grants, collaborating with other researchers, presenting findings at conferences, and advancing knowledge in their respective fields

7. What are the challenges faced by professors?

Professors may face challenges such as managing heavy workloads, balancing teaching and research responsibilities, obtaining research funding, meeting publication requirements, and keeping up with the evolving educational landscape.