Teaching is more than just a career option, it is a way in which people can be part of the education system and shape the future of the country. Although this statement may sounds like a cliché, it still stands true! Teaching career in higher educational sector, especially at the College level is one of the most desirable career choices available in India today.
Apart from several benefits like a stability, job security, excellent pay and social status; a College teacher gets a chance to interact and guide the most talented minds of the country through intellectual discussions over the subject of your choice; this make teaching even more rewarding career choice compared to others.
Despite being one of the most important and sought after career choices, not many are familiar with the exact details of the process involved in becoming a College Professor. With rising focus on education sector and entry of several private players in the academic field, the process of earning the title of ‘College Professor’ has become very difficult.
Traditionally, a postgraduate degree would easily have helped you achieve this goal, but contemporary changes in the processes of appointment of college professors have made it a very challenging task. To understand this better, we have detailed a general process with necessary steps that can be followed by any candidate willing to become a College Professor.
Post of College Professor
College Professor is a promotional post in the higher education setup of India and therefore one cannot directly become a college professor, unless they have a PhD degree with relevant experience. Therefore, any candidate aspiring to be a college professor must join the teaching profession as a lecturer and then gradually on basis of experience, performance and seniority they are promoted to the position of Assistant Professor and finally to the position of Professor. Details about each of these posts are given below:
• Pay Scale: Rs.37400-67000; GP-10000
• Academic Qualification: PhD degree with research paper being published in eminent journals
• Work Experience: A minimum of 10 years of teaching experience in college/university
• Pay Scale: Rs 15600-39100; GP-8000
• Academic Qualification: PhD degree with exceptional academic record / A Masters degree with minimum 55% marks
• Work Experience: Minimum 8 years of teaching experience at college/university level or research
Lecturer / Junior Fellow Researcher
• Qualification: Must have cleared the UGC NET examination
Currently, there is only one way to become lecturer in Indian govt colleges and that is through the UGC NET exam. We shall discuss the details of this exam ahead.
Steps to become a College Teacher
Any one aspiring to be a Govt College Teacher must decide to do so from early on in Class 12 itself, this ensures that they are able to focus all their academic energy into the domain of their specialization.
At School Level:
• Opt for the right stream at Class 12/Intermediate/10+2 level and start focusing on the subject you would like to teach at college level. Try to gain as much conceptual clarity as possible about the main topics as they would form the basis of your higher education in the subject.
At Graduation Level
• Choose the right stream and subject in your graduation degree and build a foundation in the subject you would like to pursue in your teaching career. Good marks in that subject would go a long way in the screening processes as a college professor.
At Post Graduation Level
• Complete your post graduation with specialization in the subject of your choice. A minimum score of 55% is mandatory to be able to appear for the UGC NET Exam, so try and aim above it.
After Post Graduation
• Start preparing for the UGC NET exam or apply for research in your subject matter for M.Phil and PhD degree. Although UGC NET is mandatory for selection as College teacher, but having doctorate in your subject matter will also aid you. In fact PhD degree is considered mandatory for promotion to professor level in colleges after joining as a lecturer or assistant professor.
About UGC NET Exam
UGC NET stands for National Eligibility Test; it is a national level eligibility test that screens candidates for recruitment in government colleges. The test is conducted by UGC twice a year in the months of June and December respectively. The UGC NET Exam is held to screen candidates for following posts:
• Junior Research Fellowship(JRF)
Eligibility Criteria for UGC NET Test
• Academic Qualifications: Post Graduate with minimum 55% marks for General and OBC categories. For SC/ST categories, the minimum marks limit has been relaxed to 50%.
• Age limit: There is no age limit for the post of Lecturership. However, for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) position the candidate needs to be in the age group of 21 t 28 years.
For SC/ST/OBC candidates, the age limit is relaxed by 5 years.