This study aims to use the social cognitive career theory (SSCT) to explore the effect of professional competence to career development for research and development (R&D) employees in the hospitality industry. There are 128 R&D personnel, who have worked in the hospitality industry for over three years, selected to participate in the questionnaire survey. The structural equation modeling results show that professional competence significantly affects self confidence, self confidence affects job goals, and job goals are affected by job satisfaction. However, self confidence has direct effect on job satisfaction or indirect effect on job satisfaction through job goals. A comprehensive review of different models shows that the model in which professional competence affects self confidence and further affects job goal through job satisfaction is the most ideal model.
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