How to Become A Professor: A Complete Guide


How to Become A Professor: A Complete Guide

In colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions, professors are in charge of giving students a highly qualified education and direction in particular fields. It can take a while to meet the requirements, but becoming a professor can be rewarding. Selecting educational objectives that are compatible with this career choice may be beneficial to you.

In this article, we'll look at how to become a professor, what a professor does, what credentials you need, and the future employment prospects for professors.

The salaries shown reflect the information available at the time of writing on Indeed Salaries. The hiring company, the candidate's experience, educational background, and geographic location may all influence their pay.


How to Become a Professor

The actions listed below may be useful for helping you become a college professor:

1. Decide your specialization and earn a bachelor's degree

Decide early on whether you want to pursue a career in academia as a professor of arts, commerce, or science, and pass your 12th Higher Secondary Certification exam with at least 80–90% overall marks. You might be able to enroll in the bachelor's program of your choice thanks to this. Maintaining a strong academic record is crucial, as is graduating with an average grade point average that is significantly higher than the minimum of 50–55 percent.


2. Take master's courses

Take the GATE exam, enroll in the master's program of your choice, and pass it with more than the minimum required of 50 to 55 percent aggregate marks. You may be qualified to work as a lecturer or a demonstrator if you successfully complete the master's degree program. You will probably be able to advance in your career thanks to the work experience.


3. Pass competitive exams

You can take and pass the competitive NET, SET, or CSIR NET exams after earning a master's degree. With the NET, you can apply for assistant professor positions at every college and university in the nation; with the SET, you can only apply for assistant professor positions in the state where you scored well on the test. You might get a junior research fellowship or be chosen for a lecturer position by taking the CSIR NET.


4. Obtain a doctoral degree

You can then sign up for a doctoral degree program. If you have a doctorate, you can avoid taking the competitive exams and apply directly for a job as a college professor.


5. Gain practical experience

To gain experience in the field, you might think about specializing in a particular area and obtaining a practicing license. For instance, you can add to your teaching of the subject by earning a nursing license and gaining nursing experience. While finishing your education, you can also gain teaching experience by working as a student instructor, tutoring adults or children, or holding a part-time teaching position. A research position that you volunteer for might also prepare you to teach a subject.


6. Research and academic publication

To establish yourself as an authority in your field, write well-researched blogs, articles, and papers for your blog or website and for academic blogs, websites, magazines, and other publications. For promotion from assistant professor to associate professor, it is necessary to publish at least five high-caliber papers or books, and for promotion from associate professor to professor, it takes at least ten.


7. Find academic jobs and submit an application

Look for job openings on college and university websites, online job boards, networking sites for professionals, and social media. Customizing your resume and cover letter for each job application may be helpful. You should also get comfortable answering the questions that interviewers are most likely to ask during job interviews.


What Exactly Does an Academic do?

A college professor may carry out the following activities as a qualified educator in a college, university, or other setting:

• Manage the enrollment of students in academic programs.

• Create course materials and syllabuses.

• Examine and revise the current course materials.

• Supervise graduate and postgraduate students while teaching.

• Create, administer, and analyze exam papers.

• Educate and guide assistant professors.

• Help graduate students with their research projects.

• Engage in student counseling.

• Attend faculty, departmental, and committee meetings.

• Deliver guest lectures at other universities and colleges.

• Hold open forums in libraries, community centers, and other public venues to promote educational opportunities.

• Carry out research, organize field trips, and look into particular topics.

• Compose and publish research books, articles, reports, and papers.

• Go to conferences, give talks, and connect with other academics.


What Requirements Must You Meet to Become a Professor?

You must possess the following qualifications in order to become a professor.

Master's Degree

You must have a master's degree with a strong academic record in any field. If you fall into a general category, you must have a minimum cumulative score of 55%; if you fall into a minority or protected group, your score must be at least 50%.


Competitive Exam Score

Any one of the competitive exams listed below, which the government has approved, must have been taken and passed.

• The National Eligibility Test (NET), which is administered twice yearly by the National Testing Agency (NTA) under the University Grants Commission (UGC), is used to choose lecturers for colleges and universities across the nation.

• The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is administered once a year by the GATE committee. You can use the three-year validity of the score to gain admission to master's or doctoral programs.

• State Level Eligibility Test (SET): The NTA administers the SET in English and local languages once a year, and passing it qualifies you to work as a lecturer in a state-level college or university.

• Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) NET: To approve candidates from various science fields for lecturer positions or junior research fellowships, the NTA conducts the national-level CSIR NET twice a year.


Doctoral Degree

If you have a doctoral degree that you obtained through the regular route, you can become a professor without taking the competitive exams. This indicates that you participated in the viva voce and that at least two external examiners have evaluated your research thesis. Additionally, you must have at least two papers that are closely related published.

Teaching Experience and Skills

Three to 14 years of teaching and mentoring experience in a formal educational setting are required. Having a self-assured, upbeat attitude and employing creative teaching strategies that connect with your students can be helpful. In order to clearly and passionately explain your subject, you must possess excellent communication and presentation skills. Additionally, having strong organizational, time-management, and problem-solving skills may be advantageous.


Research and Publications

To demonstrate the breadth of your knowledge and research, you must publish a number of peer-reviewed papers, articles, or books. Additionally, you need to keep up with the most recent advancements in your field by actively researching and presenting them.


How Much Time does it Take to Become a Professor?

To become a college professor, one must put in many years of arduous work and dedication. A three- or four-year bachelor's degree, a two-year master's degree, and the passing of state- or national-level competitive exams are all requirements for a full-time position as a professor. You might also require several years of research or teaching experience. A doctoral degree is an additional option that can be obtained after a master's program and requires three to six years to complete.


How Long Does it Take to Become a Professor?

If you can meet the requirements listed below, you can work toward becoming an assistant professor with a master's degree.

• You earned your master's degree from a reputable university with at least a 55 percent average.

• You successfully completed one of the competitive exams for UGC NET, UGC SET, or CISR NET.

• You've held a position in research or education.


Can You be a Professor with a Master's Degree?

A professor's employment prospects are favorable, with both public and private educational institutions offering steady employment opportunities.  Professors make an average yearly salary of $8,44,895 in the United States.

A full-time adjunct professor makes $5,57,296 annually, while an assistant professor makes $5,11,686.

An associate professor earns an annual salary of 11,10222.

Working at prestigious institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), and All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), you may earn significantly more money. With each promotion you receive, your salary range may also increase. Many professors go on to become chancellors and deans.


What is the Most Effective Method for Locating a Professorial Position?

Starting your job search while you are still in school is the best strategy for landing a position as a professor. To learn about available teaching positions, required qualifications, and pay, research private, public, and research-based educational institutions. Decide which colleges and jobs best suit your qualifications, interests, and expectations before whittling down the list.

Consider sending your application if any of them have openings for part-time positions.

By networking with academics, you can increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams. Additionally, you can participate in online forums and groups, attend seminars and conferences, be active on social media, and subscribe to academic newsletters and magazines.

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