With multiple modes of interactive education infrastructure available today, there are several ways to become a teacher. You can have classes for audiences across age groups, with each class tailored to their own needs. One such profession that enjoys this diversity and freedom is that of the associate professor.
Who is an Associate Professor?
An associate professor can be defined as a mid-level professor who is in a tenure-track position. They generally have a doctorate or other professional degree and teaches classes that are related to the subjects they have studied. The responsibilities of an associate professor are quite similar to that of an assistant professor. This job position can be put somewhere between that of an assistant professor and a full professorship. An assistant professor can become an associate professor by achieving tenure, which is generally 5 to 7 years into their employment following a demonstration of exceptional teaching or research skills. They are also sometimes responsible for the development of curricula, teach classes and even conduct research. This offers a segue into the next topic, which is the roles and responsibilities of the associate professor.
Duties & Responsibilities of an Associate Professor
An associate professor is often seen sharing the research they conducted at conferences and even have their work published in peer-reviewed publications. Given below are some of the key responsibilities of an associate professor:
- The conceptualization, creation and distribution of course content, syllabi, and curricula
- Working with recruitment and training programs for teaching assistants, new lecturers, and even professors
- Doing research, publishing papers, and taking part in conferences
- Taking part in academic events and using such events to network with other scholars and subject matter experts
- Supervision, giving advice and the guidance of education personnel and graduates
- Attending departmental and faculty meetings
- Interviewing, shortlisting, and carefully choosing graduate students
- Hosting faculty gatherings and guest lectures for students to meet with experienced industry professionals
- Visiting higher education institutions (HEIs) to get experience in their subject and broadening their networks
That being said, the role of an associate professor is quite flexible and can sometimes even be very similar to the role of an assistant professor.
Steps to Becoming an Associate Professor
To become an Associate rofessor, students can actually start preparing at the school level. For example, if someone wants to teach History, they can pick the Humanities stream or if someone who wants to teach Physics, they can pick Science.
When it comes to the school level, as mentioned above, an aspiring associate professor does not have to pursue one specific stream. On the basis of their research area of choice, Science, Arts, Commerce, Humanities, or even a combination of them can be chosen. Students can also look into enhancing their communication skills.
After completing their XII standard, students have to choose a bachelor’s degree and subsequently a master’s degree. The degree and specialization need to be in the field that they wish to teach later on in their career.
- UG - An associate professor aspirant’s bachelor’s degree can be in any relevant stream. There are B.Ed courses one can take. The admissions are done on the basis of merit as well as through entrance tests. Preparations for the UGC NET exam can be started as soon as one is about to graduate. The minimum average score that needs to be scored by the aspirant to land this role is 55%.
- PG - Enrollment in a master’s course can essentially follow the same pattern as the bachelor’s degree level. Admissions for masters courses are generally done through entrance tests and subsequent face-to-face interviews. When it comes to final year, students can undertake the UGC NET or an exam of that nature.
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Advantages of Being a Associate Professor
The role of a teacher is a highly respectable job, as they get to teach and shape the future generation. Associate professor jobs have a lot of job benefits, some of which are discussed below.
- Associate professors are often employed in government institutes which comes with a lot of benefits like job security and assured salary increments. Even though the private counterparts start out with a much greater salary range, the average salary for a government associate professor is more or less 2.4 lacs per annum. Private associate professors can earn up to 8.80 lacs per annum.
- Associate professor jobs can be quite secure. They get salary increments and assured promotions to the next post as soon as they get enough years of experience. Professors employed with government institutes may enjoy more job security when compared to private institute professors.
- Associate professors in their field don’t just teach the course material to students, they are responsible for a lot more. They help shape the personalities of students and leave them with life skills. Students need to learn how to be self-motivated and have a strong sense of self-esteem, which will ultimately help them in their careers, and a large part of that comes from their mentors.
- The post of associate professor is assigned to candidates who have a master’s degree. Hence, candidates can earn a doctorate degree in a given field of study. After they have earned a doctorate degree, candidates become eligible for higher job positions.
Teaching is a unique experience, both when it comes to the professor as well as the student. Professors will be able to interact directly with students and they will get to be up to date with their chosen field of study. In addition to the professor, shaping and influencing a young student’s life is also done by their parents. However, it is no doubt that an educator contributes equally to the overall development of students.
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