Monday, November 10, 2008

International comparisons of faculty salaries


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Check out this PhD Comics graphic. [thaks Rahul!]

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The full report is here; Inside HigherEd has a summary here.

  1. With purchasing power parity (PPP) adjustments, junior faculty salary in India is $ 1,151 per month, roughly a fourth of the figure for the US ($ 4,589) or Canada ($ 5,206). But it is more than 60 percent higher than the figure for China ($ 682).

  2. With a different kind of adjustment -- division by per capita GDP -- India is right there at the top! The average annual salary of a junior faculty member in India is nearly 9 times the per capita GDP.

  3. In any event, the figures for India are from pre-SPC (Sixth Pay Commission) era. Post-SPC salaries will be up by 60 to 70 percent.

You might also be interested in comments from Eric Beerkens and Chris Blattman.

8 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Indian faculty are paid peanuts compared to other professionals in India.And that's very depressing.Period.

  2. Rahul Siddharthan said...

    abi - this phdcomic is also interesting.

    anon: if you find that "very depressing. period" then I'd say be elsewhere. I think with current pay scales, some people are underpaid and some are overpaid. Flexibility in pay according to productivity and value to institution should be permitted. One size does not fit all. "Star professors" in the US are paid exorbitantly and I'm sure that drives up the averages.

  3. Anonymous said...

    @Rahul
    "Flexibility in pay according to productivity and value to institution _should_ be permitted."

    (Snigger)

    Don't we all know what _should_ be done? Further, do you really expect it to be done (by the govt etc) ?

    By the time the situation brightens, the best talent of few more generations would have been repelled from academia. The situation _is_ depressing indeed.

  4. Vinod Khare said...

    I agree. I do think that faculty salaries in India are quite respectable if you're in the IITs/IIMs. But more than the actual cash that you get, the quality of life is very good on residential campuses. To afford that kind of lifestyle outside of the IIT campus would just evaporate half your salary.

    It is also true that faculty are not paid as much as other professionals with similar qualification are. However, isn't that the case with professors all around the work. People do not do research because they are paid well. They do research because they like it. If you want to earn money, be a banker.

    I'm pursuing my grad studies right now and what deters me from thinking about an academic career in India is not so much the salary but the poor research environment that I'd get compared to the US.

  5. Anonymous said...

    @ vinod khare:

    faculty salaries in India are universal: from kashmir to kanyakumari, gujarat to assam, universities to collages - one size fits all; there is nothing special to IITs/IISc. Net result: very few are grossly underpaid; rest are grossly overpaid!

    "They do research because they like it" - Will you do research - with no salary - just because you like it (even with a good environment)?

  6. Giri@iisc said...

    @Vinod Khare:

    "What deters me from thinking about an academic career in India is not so much the salary but the poor research environment that I'd get compared to the US."

    I would significantly differ from your argument. IF salary is not the deterrent, then you should seriously consider an academic career in IIT/IISc. I do not know what you mean by poor research environment. The research environment in these places is comparable with certainly the top 50 in USA.

    In US, you have to struggle to get funds. Unless you get funds, you do not get students, unless you have students, you can not publish. In IIT/IISc, funding and students are generally not a problem. My colleagues in US often complain they spend much more time writing proposals for funding rather than doing actual research.

    However, the salaries is a different issue. The comment that
    "It is also true that faculty are not paid as much as other professionals with similar qualification are. However, isn't that the case with professors all over.."

    No. In the US, a graduating B.S (B.Tech) student will never get the same salary as a professor with ten years experience, as it happens in IITs.

    Jayaraman in the book "The decline of the guru.." says that the academic salaries in India allow one to live decent (upper) middle class lives. If you will be happy with that, then IIT/IISc is the place to do research..one can write less proposals and more papers.

    Giridhar
    http://giridharmadras.blogspot.com

  7. cipher said...

    Hi. I guess this is the wrong place to argue this, but I don't see any undergraduate from IITs or RECs who stays in India to get a PhD. I don't even know about any place which is valued highly in undergraduate science in India. This of course does not mean that IISc does not have any good or motivated graduate students, but on a whole even the best of Indian academic institution does not have the brightest of students. Graduate students are the engines which drive research, so perhaps our top most academic institution needs to take steps which enables it to get really good graduate students.

  8. Soumen said...

    "To afford that kind of lifestyle outside of the IIT campus would just evaporate half your salary." --- gross underestimate. Just rent in a comparable ambiance in Mumbai can evaporate ten professors' take-home pay.

    "If you want to earn money, be a banker." --- A trillion dollars bailout here, a trillion dollar loan restructuring there, soon a trillion dollar means nothing.

    Funding students in IIT is no problem. Finding students (that fog mirrors) is nearly impossible.