Have you always wanted to become a civil servant? Interested in joining the most prestigious civil service arm in all of India?
Looking for a job that allows you to get an up-close look at how government policies are both formed and implemented?
If so, then perhaps starting out on an IAS career path is the right choice for you. But before you decide to enroll in courses and take your exam, let’s talk about the responsibilities of the job itself.
We’ll also go over the general career progression that you can expect — and what kind of training it takes to get there.
When you’re ready to learn about the life of an IAS officer during training and beyond, keep on reading this post.
IAS Training After Selection
The first step on your IAS career path is, as you’ve likely expected, receiving the actual training you’ll need to succeed.
This will take place at the LBSNAA — the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration. You’ll begin by taking the Foundation Course, which will last about four months.
In addition to learning the laws and policies as a part of the Foundation Course, you should also expect to complete physical activities. You’ll also have a chance to go on what’s known as your “Bharat darshan.”
This is an extremely rewarding part of your IAS training, as it allows you to travel throughout India.
Next, you’ll be placed on probation. Here, you’re actually placed in a specific region of the country for a few years. These regions are known as cadres, and India has 24 in total.
While you’re on probation, you’ll work directly with the government. You’ll also keep a diary to show what you’ve learned.
During your training, you’ll also need to pass your Civil Services Examination.
Anytime, after you’ve graduated from training, you’re eligible to take your exam. Once you’ve passed this (be warned though, it’s seriously competitive) you can start joining the official ranks.
Read more about what to expect from the exam, so you can see if it’s truly something you’re interested in.
IAS Officer Ranks
Now, let’s take a quick look at the IAS hierarchy.
Once you pass your exam, you’ll be welcomed into the Junior Time Scale salary range. You’ll need to work in the Junior Time Scale for about four years before you can rise up any further.
You’ll work as a sub-divisional officer and/or magistrate during this time.
After you complete your required time as a sub-divisional officer, you’ll be eligible to move upwards.
The next rank is what’s known as the Senior Time Scale. Here, you’ll receive a higher pay and will gain more influential titles. These can include things like Chief Development Officer or the Additional District Magistrate.
After a total of nine years, you can go to the Junior Administrative Grade.
In addition to a pay raise, you’ll be given more intense responsibilities. These are usually related to law and order and revenue collection. You may even be chosen to serve as the Joint Secretary of the State Ministry.
After serving for 12 years, you’ll be elevated to the Selection Grade. Here, you’re eligible to work as a Special Secretary for the government.
You’ll continue to climb the ranks until you earn the title of Cabinet Secretary State.
This is the highest possible title for those that work the government in India. It goes without saying that it’s also a huge honor.
You may be able to work as the singular Cabinet Secretary for the central government of India, or you may work as a State Secretary.
Soft Skills Needed to Succeed
In addition to passing your examinations, if you want to work up through the IAS career path, you’ll need certain soft skills as well.
First of all, it’s incredibly important that you possess strong leadership skills and can easily communicate with others. You’ll need to be able to plan and think on your feet.
It also helps for you to have a strong basic knowledge of national affairs and issues facing the population.
You’ll also need to be comfortable with giving others orders, and ensuring that they’re followed to the letter.
Finally, you’ll need to be able to keep composure in stressful and even difficult situations.
The truth is that IAS officers have various — and often challenging — responsibilities throughout the day.
You will need to monitor the use of public funds, and may even need to sign government agreements. You’ll need to serve as representatives of the government, and may hold high-ranking positions.
You’ll need to be comfortable working with several different ministries, and will even be able to create government policies.
In some cases, you may even be eligible to work abroad and learn new languages.
You might work within the United Nations, the World Bank, or more. You can also work with different NGOs and nonprofits.
Understanding the IAS Career Path: Wrapping Up
We hope that this post has helped you to get a better understanding of the standard IAS career path.
If you want to be a part of the government, and if you have a strong command of policy, this is a great option for you.
How can you continue to develop the skill set you need to succeed as an IAS officer? Want to learn more about how to get stronger, or how to think on your feet?
We want to help you.
Keep checking back with our blog to learn more about the best ways to grow and develop your career. We also offer information about a wide variety of career paths.
Live your best life with our help.