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Interested In Becoming A College Professor? Here Is The Complete Guide!

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When I was pursuing my degree from the Delhi School of Economics, I used to have this amazing professor called 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 that 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 are needed to 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.

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.

A professor at Azim Premji University, in Bangalore, India, lectures to a classroom full of students.

If you can 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 for 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 fulfill 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 Ph.D. degree in your preferred stream to avail yourself of a research career.

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 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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D., 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 your master’s degree course, finish your Ph.D., 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 Ph.D., 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 education 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 students on their assignments
  • Preparing lectures and PPTs
  • Supervise students in their thesis or assignments
  • Lead college trips and seminars
  • Counseling students
  • Writing proposal letters and emails to funding agencies
  • Write journals
  • Research

Employment Sectors/Industries For Professors

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.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about the campaign here.

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She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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