How to Become a Professor/Lecturer In India: A Comprehensive Guide for Aspiring Educators
Mr. Paramjeet Sangwan

How to Become a Professor/Lecturer In India: A Comprehensive Guide for Aspiring Educators

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Are you passionate about teaching and eager to make a lasting impact in the field of education? Becoming a professor may be the perfect career path for you. Professors are esteemed scholars who possess a doctorate or equivalent degree and have the opportunity to teach at prestigious colleges and universities. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of how to become a professor in India, including eligibility criteria, educational qualifications, required skills, job responsibilities, salary prospects, and more. So, let's embark on this rewarding journey together!


Understanding the Role of a Professor

A professor is a highly respected professional who teaches at the college or university level and holds a doctorate in their respective field. They play a crucial role in shaping the future of students by imparting knowledge, conducting research, and mentoring aspiring scholars. The title of "Professor" is earned through a rigorous process of exams, experience, and credentials.

Eligibility Criteria for Becoming a Professor

To become a professor in India, certain eligibility criteria must be met. These criteria include:

  1. Having a master's degree with a minimum aggregate percentage as per UGC norms.
  2. Meeting the age limit criteria (there is no age limit for the position of Assistant Professor).
  3. Clearing competitive exams such as UGC NET, GATE, SLET, or CSIR NET.

Now, let's delve deeper into the educational qualifications required to embark on this esteemed career path.

Educational Qualifications

Education is the foundation for becoming a professor. The following educational qualifications are essential to pursue a career in academia:

  1. Bachelor's Degree: Start by obtaining a bachelor's degree in your chosen field of specialization. This will serve as the first step towards your journey of becoming a professor. The specific undergraduate degree may vary depending on the subject you desire to teach.
  2. Master's Degree: After completing your bachelor's degree, pursue a master's degree in your chosen subject. This will deepen your knowledge and expertise in the field and provide a strong foundation for further studies.
  3. Ph.D.: The pinnacle of academic qualifications, a Ph.D. is a mandatory requirement for becoming a professor. A Ph.D. is a research-based program where you contribute to the existing body of knowledge in your field through original research. It typically takes 3-5 years to complete a Ph.D.

Choosing the Right Stream

The choice of stream is critical when it comes to becoming a professor. It is essential to select the stream that aligns with the subject you aspire to teach. While there is no definitive answer to which stream one should choose, it is recommended to opt for the science stream if you are unsure about the subject. However, regardless of the stream you choose, you can pursue any undergraduate degree as long as it aligns with your desired subject.

Certification Courses & Project Courses

While there are no specific certificate courses required to become a professor, undertaking certification courses in teaching can be a valuable addition to your profile. These courses enhance your teaching skills and provide insights into creating positive classroom environments. Some popular certification courses include:

  1. Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms by Relay Graduate School of Education (Duration: 2-4 weeks)
  2. University Teaching by the University of Hong Kong (Duration: 2-4 weeks)
  3. Certificate in Teaching English Grammar by Asian College for Teachers (Duration: 6 weeks)

Additionally, engaging in project courses or research internships during your educational journey can provide hands-on experience and develop your skills as a future professor.

Job Preparation

Preparing for a professorship role involves gaining practical experience and honing your teaching skills. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Internships: Seek internships that offer teaching assistant or personalized small group teaching positions. These internships will allow you to understand how to tailor content to meet the learning needs of students and develop effective lesson plans and teaching techniques.
  2. Portfolio Creation: Build a comprehensive portfolio that highlights your teaching experience, teaching methods, innovations, certifications, and any other relevant achievements. A well-crafted portfolio will not only showcase your expertise but also help you prepare for Ph.D. admissions.
  3. Freelancing: Explore freelance opportunities in teaching as a lecturer or visiting faculty. Building teaching experience through freelance work will enhance your credibility and provide valuable references.
  4. Qualification Exams: Qualify for exams such as UGC-NET or CSIR-NET to be eligible for teaching positions in colleges and universities. These exams assess your subject knowledge and teaching aptitude.

Skills Required to Become a Professor

Becoming a successful professor requires a combination of academic qualifications and essential skills. Here are some key skills that aspiring professors should develop:

  1. Teaching Skills: Professors must possess excellent teaching skills to effectively communicate complex concepts and engage students in the learning process.
  2. Communication Skills: Strong oral and written communication skills are essential for professors to effectively convey information and interact with students, colleagues, and the academic community.
  3. Presentation Skills: Professors often deliver lectures and presentations, making effective presentation skills crucial for engaging students and conveying information clearly.
  4. Research Skills: Professors are expected to conduct research and contribute to their field of study. Strong research skills, including data analysis and literature review, are essential for this aspect of the role.
  5. Critical Thinking: Professors must possess strong critical thinking skills to analyze and evaluate information, develop innovative teaching methods, and guide students in their academic pursuits.
  6. Time Management: Effective time management skills are essential for professors as they juggle multiple responsibilities, including teaching, research, administrative tasks, and mentoring students.
  7. Networking: Building professional networks and collaborations with peers, experts, and industry professionals is crucial for professors to stay updated with the latest developments in their field.
  8. Mentoring: Professors often serve as mentors to students, providing guidance and support in their academic and career endeavors.
  9. Patience: Teaching requires patience, especially when dealing with diverse student populations and varying learning styles. Professors must be patient and understanding to ensure effective learning outcomes.
  10. Creativity: Professors should embrace creativity in their teaching methods to engage students and make the learning process enjoyable and effective.

Developing these skills will not only make you a successful professor but also enhance your overall professional growth.

Salary and Scope for Professors in India

Professors in India enjoy a good salary package and numerous opportunities for growth. The salary of a professor varies based on qualifications, experience, position, and the institution they are associated with. Here is an overview of the average annual salary of professors at different levels:

Job RoleAverage Salary (per annum)
Research AssistantINR 3 LPA
LecturerINR 3.6 LPA
Assistant ProfessorINR 6.6 LPA
Associate ProfessorINR 12.3 LPA
ProfessorINR 18.8 LPA
Head of Department (HOD)/DirectorINR 14.5 LPA

It's important to note that salaries can vary depending on the location, type of institution, and other factors. Professors at prestigious institutions like IITs, AIIMS, IIMs, and BITS tend to receive higher salaries.

Top Recruiters in India

Several esteemed institutions and universities in India hire professors for their academic departments. Some of the top recruiters in India include:

  1. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)
  2. Birla Institute of Technology (BIT)
  3. Symbiosis Open Education Society
  4. IMRB International
  5. Delhi University
  6. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
  7. Amity University
  8. Lovely Professional University
  9. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
  10. Jaipur University

These institutions provide excellent career opportunities for aspiring professors.

Top Countries to Work as a Professor Abroad

If you aspire to work as a professor abroad, several countries offer attractive opportunities. Here are some of the top countries renowned for their academic institutions and career prospects for professors:

  1. Australia: Known for its high-quality education system, Australia offers excellent opportunities for professors in various disciplines.
  2. New Zealand: With a strong emphasis on research and development, New Zealand provides a conducive environment for professors to excel in their academic careers.
  3. United Arab Emirates: The UAE has emerged as a hub for higher education, attracting professors from around the world with its generous compensation packages and state-of-the-art facilities.
  4. United Kingdom: The UK offers a rich academic tradition and prestigious universities where professors can thrive and contribute to cutting-edge research.
  5. Netherlands: Known for its innovative approach to education, the Netherlands provides an ideal environment for professors seeking to make a difference in their field.
  6. United States: The US boasts renowned universities and research institutions that attract top scholars and offer extensive opportunities for career advancement.
  7. Germany: With its strong focus on research and development, Germany offers excellent prospects for professors, particularly in STEM fields.
  8. Japan: Known for its technological advancements, Japan provides professors with opportunities to work in top-tier institutions and contribute to groundbreaking research.
  9. China: China's rapid economic growth has led to significant investments in higher education, making it an attractive destination for professors seeking global exposure.
  10. South Korea: South Korea's commitment to education and research excellence makes it an appealing destination for professors looking for dynamic career opportunities.

Working as a professor abroad offers not only a platform to share your knowledge globally but also exposure to diverse cultures and research collaborations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is a Professor?

A professor is a professional who teaches at the college or university level and holds a doctorate in their respective field. They are experts in their subject and play a crucial role in imparting knowledge, conducting research, and mentoring students.

How long does it take to become a professor?

The path to becoming a professor requires dedication and several years of academic pursuit. It typically takes around 6-8 years to become a professor, including completing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, gaining teaching experience, and obtaining a Ph.D.

What are the duties of a professor?

Professors have diverse responsibilities, including preparing lectures, grading assignments and exams, conducting research, mentoring students, participating in departmental meetings, and publishing scholarly papers. They play a vital role in curriculum development and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their field.

What is the salary of a professor in India?

The salary of a professor in India varies based on qualifications, experience, and the institution they are associated with. On average, a professor can earn between INR 40,000 to INR 90,000 per month. Higher salaries can be expected at prestigious institutions and with more years of experience.

How can I become a professor in a specific subject?

To become a professor in a specific subject, you must pursue a bachelor's degree in that subject, followed by a master's degree. After completing your master's degree, you can opt for a Ph.D. in your chosen field of specialization. Gaining teaching experience, publishing research papers, and clearing competitive exams such as UGC NET are essential steps towards becoming a professor.


Becoming a professor is a fulfilling and intellectually rewarding career choice. It requires dedication, passion for teaching, and a commitment to lifelong learning. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can embark on a journey to become a professor in India. Remember to pursue higher education, develop essential skills, gain practical experience, and stay updated with the latest developments in your field. With perseverance and a love for education, you can shape the minds of future generations and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in your chosen subject. So, take the first step towards your dream of becoming a professor and make a lasting impact in the field of education.

For comprehensive UGC NET Law Exam preparation, consider Legalstix Law School. With experienced faculty and a flexible learning platform, Legalstix Law School provides the necessary resources and guidance to help you excel in your pursuit of becoming a professor.

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