Teaching jobs and education careers in India

Teaching jobs and education careers in India

Teaching jobs and careers in the education sector generally don’t get the limelight they deserve. Snehal Divekar has been a teacher for over 13 years and is currently on a sabbatical. She worked as an Assistant Professor in the IT department of an engineering college affiliated to the University of Mumbai.
In this article, she talks about teaching jobs and careers in the education field, the pros and cons, average salary ranges and other aspects. For those who are tired of competing in the rat race, here are a few meaningful options for you to consider.


Teaching jobs in India

Being a teacher I have always felt that teaching is often perceived as a ‘fallback’ career by most of us. So I wrote this post to clear some misconceptions about taking up teaching as a profession.

I do agree that the initial years are a bit of struggle. It is the only profession where fortunately we are not under constant stress of achieving fixed targets and strain associated for achieving those. This is a very common problem with most of the young brigade who have just moved into the “work” zone, particularly in IT, Sales and Marketing, Finance etc. I have come across many of them who revert to teaching in search of better life, after testing industry waters. You can set your own targets and get respect while achieving those.

The notion that anybody can teach is incorrect. Knowledge of the subject matter, clarity of thought, articulation ability, confidence and passion are some of the traits that a good teacher should possess. If you have a passion for teaching then in my opinion you should make a move. There is a dearth of good teachers in the Indian market. Our system of education guarantees a steady stream of clients; irrespective of the state of the economy.

The first and the foremost requirement to start a career in academics is a post-graduation and for some colleges it is mandatory to clear an entrance examination NET (National Eligibility Test) conducted by UGC.

College teaching jobs

It is a perfect place to start with. There is always an air of hesitation taking up teaching as a career mainly because of the salary. Thanks to the pay commission, teachers today get salaries that are pretty comparable to the industry standards. This applies to private colleges too.

Career growth in this field can be slow, the hierarchy being – Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor/Reader.

Different institutes may have different ranking levels though. But mind you, teaching being a continuous learning process can take you at a different level academically if you have loads of patience, ability and willingness to keep your eyes and ears open all the time. It can open the doors to many other options listed as follows.

a) Consultancy

Academic institutes establish tie-ups with industries and research organizations through Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) which enhance faculty research, consultancy and technology exchange programs.
Institutes usually have written policies to vet such work. You have to convince your HOD (Head of the Department) that you are interested in such work. But this process is a bit slow. You have to be bit experienced to take this leap. If a faculty member chooses to do consulting he should

• Abide by institute regulations and make sure the work does not interfere with teaching
• Choose subjects within his areas of expertise and interest
• Set up guidelines for pricing (e.g. travel time, teaching, initial meetings) but be prepared to be flexible if needed
• Work with people who have strong interests in the success of the project

The plus points of taking up consultancy are as follows
1. Your dream of doing something like your industry counterpart is fulfilled.
2. You get paid appropriately based on the contract apart from your salary.

IITs and many private colleges have tie-ups with major industries. Consultancy these days is taken up as an independent profession. If you prefer to go that way keep the following things in mind before you jump onto it.

1. Terms and conditions of the contract should be fulfilled.
2. There is very little scope for vertical growth. You may probably end up as a consultant all through your career.
3. No job security (if taken up independently)

Areas of Consultancy to name a few:
• Technology
• Finance
• HR/Career/Recruitment
• Construction

b) Training Sessions and Seminars

This is an area parallel to teaching where the audience need not necessarily be college students. The training sessions are generally conducted for corporates. You can be a certified trainer to take it up as a career. Corporate trainers typically find themselves teaching topics that people don’t learn in their formal education, such as communication skills, business writing etiquette, public speaking, presentation skills and other job-specific functional and technical skills.
Academic bodies like ISTD (Indian Society of Training & Development) and XLRI (Jamshedpur) offer such certifications and there are many more.

Before you decide to go ahead in this profession please ensure that you have
• lots of confidence
• mature thought process
• spontaneity to deal with a difficult situation
• lots of creativity to keep the talk interesting

To keep your sessions interesting and the business running you have to be
1. constantly in the process of updating yourself
2. highly competitive and should be well informed
3. very strong in building up the network

You can be either associated with an institute or be a freelance trainer. The following are some of the areas which are focussed by the trainers:
• Technology related trainng
• On the job taining (OJT)
• Behavioural training
• Human resources training

c) Research activities

The scope of research in India is limited.But lot of efforts are on way to encourage our youth to take it up as a career. Funding agencies (AICTE, DAE, TIFR, UGC and others) in India are constantly encouraging the young generation to come forward.

Faculty Research programs are conducted by the universities to encourage the faculty members for research activities. It aims at those colleges aspiring to upgrade and rejuvenate faculty resources. It is intended to ensure that individuals with exceptional creativity, zeal and commitment to research and teaching are selected through this Programme under UGC.

If a new faculty member wishes to take up research please be ready with your magnifying lens
• Ability to work in a team
• Readiness to think beyond the beaten track
• Work for long hours
• Should have inclination for further studies

The advantages of taking up this profession
1. Paper presentation which gives you a platform to express your research activities
2. Travel abroad frequently (may depend upon the area of research)
3. Job security and job satisfaction
4. Research grants apart from the salary

e.g Technology and Services Giant IBM has signed a research tie-up with up IIT Guwahati.

But you may have to compromise on certain issues like
• Low salary
• Slow growth
• Difficulty in shifting career
• Lots of patience(slow results)

Having said this, honestly the career prospects in India are far too less as compared to the West .

Major areas of research
• Medicine, Engineering,Computer science etc.
• Finance, Management, Accounting etc.
• Classic and ancient history, Music, Performing arts etc.

The options described below can drive you to start a business of your own.

Coaching classes

There is no pre-requisite qualification for working in a coaching class. To start a coaching class or to start working in a coaching class you have to adopt teaching and it can do wonders (thanks to the old mind-set of parents who push their children to classes). But you need to be the subject expert. This profession has a great future because it is very difficult to change the age old mind-set.

Coaching for (engineering, entrance exams, etc.) is a rage these days. The coaching classes are packed to its full capacity. They charge around 2000-2500 rupees per subject per student and each batch has around 70 to 75 students there are 5 to 6 batches in one semester. You can opt to be a visiting or a fulltime teacher. The salary ranges from 30,000 to over 1 lakh rupees a month.

Private tutors charge much more (5,000-10,000 rupees per subject per semester) but you need to establish yourself.

Promote yourself through rigorous advertisements (it’s a highly competitive market). Once established work hard to maintain the standard. Prove your worth constantly by giving good results.

Thanks to the advent in the technology. A new teaching methodology gaining momentum these days .

Online tutoring

This online teaching method enables to teach students through Skype. You can create educational videos and sell them over the internet. It has started to take off in a big way in India. It is a win-win situation both for parents as well as teachers. This requires your strong network with the students before you decide to take this up. One of my friends has adapted the above method for students residing in Middle East and is earning in international currency.

Last but not the least teaching is completely unaffected by industry recession. So roll up your sleeves, follow your heart, and march forward!


Ok, children. Today’s class is over. Say thank you, teacher.
Snehal’s areas of interest include Computer networking and Programming Languages. Her latest initiative involved working on a simulation software for networking (routing algorithm) for her college. For many years, she has also coached engineering undergrads (especially for C++ and Java).


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23 Comments

  1. Harshad Mande says:

    This was a very insightful and comprehensive account on Teaching as a career in India. Being a teacher in an engineering college although for a small term, I completely vouch for the opinions presented by Prof. Snehal Divekar.
    For most, I agree with the fact that young professional are sour about pursuing a career in the ‘noble profession’, because of the prejudices they hold about teaching being a low-paying job, but as stated above, the gradual pay commissions are proving to be quite lucrative.
    However I hold one grudge against teaching in India and that is, it can be really slow and the ennui might set in too soon. The lack of a vibrant and demanding environment of corporate jobs definitely affects the work culture of young minds.
    Finally I do feel that the number of colleges (engineering, in this case) has made admissions very easy for students. Apparently, many seats in engg colleges go vacant in India. So this has created a dilution of standards. The exams have become easier as the universities face the pressures of improving the success rates. And student-teacher ratios have reached a disappointing level esp. in private engineering colleges.
    All in all I absolutely loved the article above and could relate to most of it.
    Thank You teacher. :-)

  2. Pradnya says:

    Excellent writeup. Keep up the good work

  3. Snehal says:

    Hi Harshad
    Thanks for supprting this noble cause.
    Well, what I really intend through this post is to raise the level of this “noble profession” which has not got its dues yet. But recent pay hikes have helped us to come out of the ” teaching woes” (perceived by the majority)
    to some extent.
    I toally agree with your view on the ennui setting in, but again here the reasons are many. It is not necessarily always from the teacher’s side. The students are equally responsible. We teachers are always ready to adopt new teaching methodologies but there is lack of encouragement. So through this post I want the younger generation to come forward and take this up as a challenge and contribute in improving the current state of teaching.

    Snehal

  4. Snehal says:

    Hello Pradnya

    Thanks for the encouragement.It should keep me going.

    Snehal

  5. Harmish Sampat says:

    Thats a Very Good Thought by an Excellent teacher.. Nowadays the trend of Engineering Students is to Complete Engineering, and go for Campus Placements.. But they do not think about the future generations..
    It has been observed that only those who don’t get placements go for Teaching Jobs.. But a great thought and awareness campaign brought about a good young teacher to make the Engineering students realise that their children will also be taught by some such People.. And also TEACHING is a noble and respectable profession not to forget.. So It is even my Opinion for Young Engineering students to thing about TEACHING as a Career… Thanks a lot Prof. Snehal Divekar for passing such a wonderful thought.. Well Done…

  6. Ashok joglekar says:

    happy to read your blog.your opinion on teaching profession will encourage those who are in this profession

  7. Snehal says:

    Hi Harmish

    I appreciate your ideas about teaching .
    Looking forward to some great revolution in teaching and its techniques from budding and enthusiatic young people like you.

    Snehal

  8. Mrunal says:

    Hi Snehal,
    Really good post. I do agree with almost all the points mentioned. Keep the posts flowing :-)

    Mrunal

  9. Rahul says:

    Very good summery of issue and I can relate with it very closely as I am also on the verge
    Of joining the education sector after testing the industry water and rat race;-).
    I have completed Mtech in Electronics after leaving the job.
    As all teaching job aspects are covered very well in the topic I want you to through some light on
    salary scale,annual increments,allowances and leaves.
    As an asst. Prof Pay Band is Rs. 15600-39100 with AGP of Rs.6000.
    What is that AGP? what’s the aprox salary an asst. Prof draws?
    Also wheather the industry experience is counted in academics job?

  10. Nitin says:

    Thanks for a very informative, no-generalisations and to the point article.

    Nitin, Thane.

  11. Ritesh says:

    With due respect to the author of the column and the experience of Professor Snehal Divekar, I would like to provide some interesting but bitter facts.
    I have passed UGC NET in Management after my Masters of management Studies (MMS)from university of Mumbai in first class. Post education I have a two and half years of experience in Marketing and Sales in respected companies like LIC of India, ING LIFE and United Spirits. I have good communication and presentation skills. I have passed International English Language Testing System (IELTS) _ Academics with a good score which supports that I have good communication skills (Writing , Reading, Listening , Speaking) which is approved by IDP Australia and British Council. In addition to this I have some certificates in extracurricular and sports activities like Chess Competition, Add making competition, Cricket , yoga and some other activities. I have applied for the position of Assistant Professor or Lecturer in many Management colleges in and around Nagpur, Amravati, Wardha , Chandrapur and now Mumbai , Thane also.
    To my surprise many Colleges didn’t even bothered to call me for an interview or second round. After this heart breaking experience I have come to know that these so called Management colleges have selected some candidates for the Lecturer or Assistant professor position who are not even qualified i.e. they were not NET/SET passed nor PhD. These candidates have either very strong reference or paid 15 -20 lakhs as bribe or donation to the college management and have got selected.
    My struggle to get a Lecturer job is still going on as I have resigned to my earlier job of Manager- Sales ( ING Life ) to appear these interviews which proved nothing but a cruel joke on candidates like me.
    If anybody have any information regarding genuine vacancies of Assistant Professor or Lecturer please inform me at [edited out].
    Suggestions and advices are also welcomed.

    Regards

    Ritesh Badole

  12. Ashutosh Kar - KSOM says:

    Perceiving teaching as a fallback option is something which many professors have been facing at B schools with IIM faculty. It is a matter of disgrace. This article successfully highlights the many roles which a professor plays and renders the prestige and honour which a teaching job is worthy of!

  13. garima says:

    Mam!I am having two kids now.A pg degree with bed but feeling quite hesitate instarting my career again.what shouldI do?Is MBA degrw helpful to me.?

  14. Bhupesh L joshi says:

    An appreciable article by Mrs. Snehal Divekar. Ma’m I agree with u in many aspects. I have been a teacher in coaching classes and schools for 25 years. Teaching in coaching classes is a more rewarding experience in developed cities. Like many other professions, there is a cut throat competition in coaching classes too. And now there is a pressure to perform too. But a good teacher finds it very satisfying to perform in coaching classes. In schools and colleges at higher secondary level, students do not much care for teachers in their instutions…… exceptions apart. Also it is important to note that teaching experience in coaching classes is not considered in schools and colleges, however qualified and experienced you may be. Nevertheless it is more satisfying and rewarding to teach in coaching classes in cities. But in small towns and villages, school teachers still have their respect and role to play. This is an ever green field and more rewarding in the years to come…. especially in a populous country like India.

  15. Manoj says:

    I am working as an Assistant Professor in an NBA accredited premium engineering college for the past 3.5 years. I am an M.Tech graduate. Most of my friends are working in corporate sector. The salary when I joined is 20k. The salary presently im getting is Rs.23,400 in hand. Average salary increment per year is less than 10%. But the guys in IT and MBA related firms are getting more than 10L with the same experience. They have visited many countries as a business trip either. Being a teacher I never crossed my state till date. Getting PhD is a long dream. Part time PhD’s will take 5-10 years to finish and regular 3.5 – 4 years. And Doctorate is all about publishing in Annexure I or II. Most of the doctors in my college are worthless. This is the only reason I wish to do MBA by taking GMAT and not PhD in my life. Being in this profession for almost 4 years I realized that I am good at leadership and a game changer. So I am presently preparing for GMAT. Many said that teaching experience wont be counted for MBA but still I have hope that I can convince and prove the interviewers about by career change. Experts can suggest and guide me regarding my decision.

    Note: If u come from industry experience, it is definitely counted in academic side. but if you want to go from teaching to industry, the experience counted is only zero. This is from my very personal experience when I tried several times to move from teaching to VLSI field. I was so frustrated that I cant achieve my dream. Now all is for good that after having some work experience and working for NBA Accreditation for my college I realized that I shall be more successful if I choose MBA.

  16. venisha says:

    Hello Snehal Maa’m,
    After an exhaustive search related to teaching I finally found a meaningful article.Thanks a lot for you insights. I am a post graduate having done my MBA in Marketing. Teaching has always been a passion but I was never sure if i should pursue it as my career owing to various reasons one of it being a decent salary. However, I am a fresher and have just started working in industry as a sales executive. I have this notion that some years of industry experience,although not mandatory but preferable. Can you help me with the right information please?
    Also, if I could know the exact figures in salary as we move up in this career.

    Thanking you,
    Venisha

  17. vishnu says:

    Hello mam.
    I m working as an lecturer of comp. Sc. In a college and i m getting 15k in hand. I have done my MCA 2014. For six months i have been worked as a software developer but then i realize that m not fr sch job where i do hv only lappy to talk with. In college days i used to teach my classmates because it helpd me out to make my concept clear, revice and to find something new every time i teach them . But after working for one year i have realized that i m passionate about teaching but i m teaching in college which hs annual examination system. And they relief faculties fr 3 months. And its d time when prblm starts for survival. NET with comp sc is a big big big deal to crack. Bt i m putting my all efforts and wil dfntly crack it out. Bt when i look around me. My frndz which are in IT or finance is getting much better salary then me. So plz suggest by mail that what should i do. Would be your great favour if u drop inbox.. thnx

  18. pragati jindal says:

    Hi ,

    I have done my 12th with PCM.
    I have done my graduation from JIIT,Noida in 2013
    I am working in RBS gurgaon from two year in tehcnology.But I dont find it intresting any more.I want to change my carreer from tehcnology.
    also my health doesnt allow me to pursue a continuous stiitng desk job.
    now I thought of MBA option .I joined TIME institiute started studying .Now I am in a fuss of thinkin gthat even if I do an MBa my life would remaine same more or less rathe rit woul dget more hectic and though people say in marketing and sales you dont have to do that much of sitting.I am not sure how true it is.

    Can you please enlighten me around the opportunities one get after doing an MBA.
    what are the benefits .
    How would be the life.

    I am now thinking of going for an Imange consulting carrer but still I am unsure about it as well.
    Now I am thinking how ahsould I process beacuse I can no tmamger job + MBA preparation+ image consulting cource classes.
    I can think of doing any two.

    Pleas guide me how should I go about it.

    Either I take a long break from job or resign and prepare for MBA along with attending image consuitng coaching classes
    Or as I have talked to one of thre image consultant at ICBI.She said that MBA won’t help in this career so she suggested me to drop MBA plan and start taking coaching with job. It’s a one year coaching .

    Can you help in getting answers to my queries.?

  19. CHESHTA AGARWAL says:

    Thanks mam,your article has helped me to make my thoughts more clear and stronger.
    Now I can say confidentiality tharteaching is the profession,I am going to select

  20. Archana says:

    Thank you Snehal mam from the core of my heart. After a long time i’m fortunate enough to find such a good & meaningful content. Thanks once again. very cut to cut explanation close to reality. Mam i will ask my qwery later on.God bless you! Have a lovely day ahead.

  21. Sneha Singh says:

    Hello Everyone.. Very beautiful article indeed!!! I went through all the following comments and queries and completely understand the dilemma many of you are going through.
    I am an MBA HR from a top most college in India and pursuing PhD at present from an A Grade accredited University by NAAC. I got campus placed in a leading HR firm but didn’t join.Thereafter I qualified PSU Back PO but again couldn’t make my mind for it and dropped.
    After that I entered my dream work and that was into teaching. For last 7 years I am into teaching and made a name for myself at the same time, earning decent amount. It would be much better once I am done with my PhD.I never regret quitting those lucrative career options life had offered me. Very happy as doing what I always wanted to.
    The thing I want to share with my experience is teaching is a profession or career later, first it is a passion. Only if you have that flair for teaching and passionate about it then only come in education sector or you will be wasting your time and energy.
    I have seen so many people in last 7 years those who come and join teaching and soon they realize that they are not made for this, they get back to corporates and again start as a fresher.
    If you have patience, subjective knowledge, good interpersonal skills,you can opt for teaching with any private college, you will grow eventually.
    There is no fixed salary structure in Private colleges but if you are really good at your work, you will be paid good enough. So good salary – Yes,job security – yes, growth opportunities -yes
    Desired qualification – PG + extraordinary commitment towards teaching and education field.

    Hope that’s helpful
    Regards
    Sneha

  22. Sushil Aras says:

    I had just completed my PGDM in IT Projet Management from welingeker and having working exp of 22 Years in IT field I want to teach in MBA institutes what is process for same

  23. Dr. p k bhuyna says:

    i am a professor at KIIT University Bbubaneswar and at NIST in same level. The salary is maintained here as per commission. I was at central government R and D institute for 21 years and changed it to teaching after facing a lot of hindrance in promotion pay scale , lack of pension security and retirement pension schemes and of course age bar up to 60. After being a scientist or officer at R and D or IT sector, it’s difficult get recognition after retirement and experience does not valid for a teacher or any other profession. one becomes void and a burden to spent time and be engaged. The environment for academic institutes and teachers dilemma is same all time and places but one thing is sure that the teaching experence counts to get a teacher at some institute private or government in contract.

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