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How to Become a Professor in India? Complete Career Guide in Lectureship

When I was pursuing my degree from the Delhi School of Economics, I used to have this amazing professor named Dr. Shanti Lal Bhushan who used to teach us the subject of statistics. The way he taught us amazes me to this very day. Every concept that he taught in class is still as fresh and crystalline in my mind as vegetables from some fertile organic farm.

I guess it was his unique teaching style which has contributed so much to me wanting to be a mentor myself someday, so much so that I even use some of the same analogies to teach my students about economics, that he used to teach me with.

Having said that, in this blog I have written about how to become a professor in India. Now, I cannot guarantee that the information that I have given in this article will make you the next Shanti Lal, but through this article, you'll surely get to know everything there is to know about how to become a professor, assistant professor, or a lecturer, apart from the aforementioned, skills needed become a college professor, and the duties of a professor/assistant professor. Now, without wasting any more of your time let’s look into the first topic.

Anuj Jindal
Anuj Jindal, EduTech Expert

How to Become a Professor

So let's just go through the basics once. Being a professor would involve teaching university students in a particular stream of academics. A professor is basically a specialized educator of a particular subject who also conducts research and studies in the particular discipline of his expertise.

If you are able to become a college professor with the required on-ground experience, then you can also choose to write research papers, and go on to work in private/government universities.

You may as well choose to work at a coaching center where you can mentor students in your subject of expertise.

However, you should note that before you can become a professor/assistant professor, you’d need to spend a considerable duration of time studying to qualify the UGC NET exam, or other exams like GATE, or SLET.

How to Become a Professor - Eligibility

To become a college professor, you must make sure that you fulfil the following criteria:

  • You have cleared your 10+2 in any stream from a recognized board.

  • You have cleared your graduation or post-graduation level final exams from a recognized university and have a valid bachelor’s or master’s degree proving the same.

  • You are a UGC NET qualified candidate or a JRF ( Junior Research Fellowship) holder.

  • You are done with your PhD degree in your preferred stream in order to avail a career in research.

Note: A new rule set forth by the NTA states that candidates that have finished their post-graduation in a particular subject will be able to apply for only that subject and no other in their UGC NET exam.

How to become a Professor - Steps

The ways to become a lecturer are many, but here I am sharing the most generic steps that you can follow to become a lecturer:

  • You should first complete your schooling and 10+2 in the stream of your liking.

  • Next, you should start pursuing a graduation-level course in the stream or subject of your liking, It may not necessarily match the stream that you finished your schooling with, but the institute that you choose should be recognized by the government.

  • After spending 3-4 years’ time to attain your graduation certificate or your bachelor’s degree, you can opt to pursue a postgraduation degree as well in a specific subject for the next 1-2 years.

  • If you have done your post-graduation studies, you can either choose to appear for competitive exams like UGC NET/CSIR-UGC, or you can also go for a PhD degree for the next 3-5 years in the same subject as that of your post-graduation.

  • If you don’t prefer to appear for the UGC NET, CSIR, or to pursue a PhD, you can directly go for a job interview for the post of associate professor at a private university, or crack a government recruitment exam for the same post in a government university, and then later complete your PhD. and apply for the lecturer job.

Minimum Age to become a college professor in India

The minimum age limit to become a lecturer/college professor In India is not defined, meaning that you can finish you master’s degree course, finish your PhD, and then apply for a lecturer job as and when you can. The upper age limit to become a college professor in India is also not defined, meaning you can complete your PhD, and then apply for the lecturer job whenever you want.

Types of Professor Job Roles

The different job roles that the post of professorship offers are given below:

  • Professor: The job role of a professor involves teaching university students in a particular stream of academics. A professor is basically a specialized educator of a particular subject who also conducts research and studies in the particular discipline of his expertise.

  • Researcher: The job Role of a researcher involves researching, conducting experiments & surveys, and writing papers related to the specific subject of specialization of the professor.

  • Assistant Professor: In the role of an Assistant professor you’d need to assist the senior level professor in his teaching and course creation. You’d also need to keep track of all the academic exercises that the senior level professor assigns for his students and keep track of the various aspects of teaching such as managing courses, lecturing, and preparing lessons.

  • HOD: As a HOD you’d be mandated with heading and managing a particular educational department in a university or higher educational facility.

  • Associate Professor: The Job role of an Associate Professor is to conduct various teaching activities such as attending conferences, conducting research, teaching, solving administrative issues, and supervising students in their course work.

Skills Required to Become a college Professor in India

Just fulfilling the eligibility to apply for the lecturer job is not enough, you’d also need to have certain skills that the lecturer job would require you to have:

Given below are a set of skills that you’d need if you wish to become a lecturer:

  • Vivid interest in the subject you teach

  • A passion for teaching

  • Ability to learn new things

  • Creativity and innovation

  • Great Communication skills

  • Good Time Management

  • Ability to solve problems

  • Great research skills

  • Ability to stay calm and positive

Duties of a Professor/Assistant Professor

The duties of a professor are not just confined to those that he/she might exercise inside the confines of a classroom or a lecture hall. There are several other duties that a professor needs to take care of. Some of them are listed below:

  • Grading student on their assignments

  • Preparing lectures and PPTs

  • Supervise students in their thesis or assignments

  • Lead college trips and seminars

  • Counselling students

  • Writing proposal letters and emails to funding agencies

  • Write journals

  • Research

Employment Sectors/Industries for Professor

The sectors that offer employment to professors are given below:

  • Research based Institutions

  • Private Institutions

  • Online Coaching Portals

  • Coaching Institutes

  • Government Institutes

Examples of Recruiting Agencies

Some examples of the various companies/organizations/agencies that recruit professors or assistant Professors are given below:

  • Various IITs (Indian Institute of Technology)

  • Lovely Professional University

  • Amity University

  • Birla Institute of Technology

  • Delhi University


That’s all folks! Hope this blog answered the question of How to become a professor, or assistant professor adequately. Having said that, I bid you farewell and good luck.


About Anuj:

Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 5 years of experience in the field of Education. To reach out to him, please visit

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