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Can I become a Professor after clearing NET?

UGC NET Exam serves as a national-level assessment that assesses the qualifications of candidates who wish to pursue a career as an Assistant Professor or aspire for both the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Assistant Professor roles. UGC NET examination plays a pivotal role in opening doors to pursue PhD and career opportunities i.e. Assistant professor, Professor in Indian College and Universities.

As candidates embark on their UGC NET Exam preparation journey, they often ponder the career prospects that await them upon successfully clearing the examination. In this article, we delve into the intricate details of the professional path that follows UGC NET and JRF qualifications, shedding light on the prospects of a career as a professor

UGC NET 2023 Notification

What is UGC NET?

UGC NET exam is a national-level eligibility exam for Assistant Professor posts and JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) aspirants. The UGC NET Exams are conducted by NTA (National Testing Agency) twice a year in December and June.

As UGC NET Exam will be over, successful candidates can opt for Assistant Professor posts, PhD and M.Phil in various Indian Universities depending on their area of expertise and subject. The candidates will become eligible to apply for the Assistant Professor/ Lecturers post in various Indian Universities and Colleges while simultaneously pursuing their PhD/ M.Phil.

Candidates also become eligible for some lucrative jobs offered by PSUs (Public Service Undertakings). Candidates related to various disciplines such as management, human resource, corporate communication, finance, and science, can apply for PSUs in the R&D department. 

UGC NET Exam Highlights

Can I become a Professor after clearing NET? Before reaching this question let be clear about UGC NET Examination which is held by NTA. In teh the following table, candidates will find detailed information on the UGC NET Exam Highlights.

UGC NET Exam Highlights
Name of the Exam National Eligibility Test (NET)
Conducting Body National Testing Agency (NTA)
Exam Conducted in A Year Twice a Year
Mode of Examination Online
Type of Questions Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Number of Papers
  • UGC NET Paper I
  • UGC NET Paper-II
Number of Questions 150
Time Duration 3 hours
Negative Marking No

  Is Ph.D. Mandatory For Assistant Professor?

What Is Assistant Professor?

Assistant professors are employed at universities or colleges where they teach students and conduct research for further courses. This is an entry post in Colleges after clearing UGC NET Exam. Once a candidate clears the UGC NET Exams, they become eligible to apply for Assistant Professor posts in various Indian universities and colleges. Candidates can simultaneously pursue their PhD or research work. By completing their PhD candidates ensure promotions and career growth in future. Candidates can get promoted to Associate Professor, Professor, Head of Department and so on. 

What Is Associate Professor?

Associate Professor is the rank candidate gets after assistant professor promotion with 14 yr work service. A candidate with a PhD and a minimum of 8 yr of experience in teaching and/or research in an academic/research position can hold an Associate Professor profession.

Assistant Professor Vs Associate Professor

What Is Professor?

Associate Professors who have completed three years of service in that grade with a Ph.D. degree and a minimum of 10 research publications in peer-reviewed/UGC-listed journals out of which three research papers shall be published during the assessment period will be eligible for Professor Post. A Professor or Associate Professor (without PhD) will have the same powers, workload, salary, pay band etc. Professor gets a promotion and becomes Vice-Chancellor or Principal or HOD in college.

How to Become a Professor in India, Qualification & Age Limit

What is the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF)?

JRF or Junior Research Fellowship is a certificate awarded by UGC to the top 6% of candidates who clear UGC NET exams. It is a scholarship program for candidates opting for research work and higher studies.

The cut-off marks of UGC NET and JRF differ every year. The factors that contribute to such differences in cut-off marks are:

  •  The number of candidates who opt for the UGC NET exam in a particular year.
  •  The difficulty level of the exam.
  •   The number of seats available for the positions.

Career After UGC NET & JRF Exam

Can I become a Professor after clearing NET?

Yes, the Candidate can apply for Assistant Professor. Candidates have to follow the process of becoming professors. First Assistant professor, then Associate and last Professor. The process of becoming an assistant professor has a lucrative benefit with qualifying UGC NET is that the candidates become eligible for attractive salary packages when they apply for the Post of Professor. They become eligible to apply to various Government and Private Colleges/Universities/ Institutions.


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What is the age limit for the UGC NET Exam?

As per UGC NET Eligibility guidelines, there is no age limit for the assistant professor. However, the age of candidates for JRF should not exceed 31 years.

Are there any negative markings in the UGC NET Exam?

No, there is no negative marking in UGC NET Exam.

What is the validity of the UGC NET JRF certificate/ award letter?

The validity of the UGC NET JRF certificate is three years from the date of its issuance.

What is the mode of the UGC NET Exam?

The UGC NET Exam is conducted in Computer Based Mode (online) only

What is UGC NET?

UGC NET is a national-level eligibility exam conducted by NTA for Assistant Professor posts and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) aspirants.

Can I become a Professor after clearing NET?

Yes, after clearing NET, candidates can become Assistant Professors and then progress to Associate Professors and Professors through promotions. Also, candidates must meet all the educational and professional eligibility criteria to get promotion to the Professor's post.

Is a PhD mandatory for the Assistant Professor position?

While a Ph.D. is not mandatory for the Assistant Professor position, it is mandatory for career growth and promotions.

What is the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF)?

JRF is a scholarship program awarded to the top 6% of candidates who clear UGC NET exams and opt for research work and higher studies.