Career Transitions Inventory

Career Transitions InventoryThe Career Transitions Inventory (CTI) is a 40-item Likert format measure designed to assess an individual’s internal process variables that may serve as strengths or barriers when making a career transition. For purposes of this instrument, the term career transition was defined as a situation in which any of the following kinds of career changes were being considered: (a) task change—a shift from one set of tasks to another set of tasks within the same job and same location (e.g., a software designer changes into software sales), (b) position change—a shift in jobs, with the same employer or a different employer (e.g., a secretary moving to a different department within the same company), or (c) occupational change—a transition from one set of duties to a different set that might include a new work setting (e.g., a farmer becomes a factory worker).

The fact that increasing numbers of individuals are making career transitions was a primary reason for creating the scale. Increased technology, labor force participation rates, and global change all contribute to the growing number of career transitions. Although the field of career development had numerous scales available to measure interests, skills, ability, and values, there was a dearth of scales to measure the barriers and supports adults have when making a career transition. The inventory was created to aid in the transition process by helping adults recognize the skills they bring to a transition as well as possible internal barriers that may serve as obstacles to the career transition process. All of the factors measured by the CTI are considered states, rather than traits, and thus are malleable to intervention.

The CTI was created and validated through factor analyses and a series of investigations examining the inventory’s reliability and validity. Five distinct factors were found through factor analytic studies. These factors were Career Motivation (Readiness), Self-efficacy (Confidence), Perceived Support (Support), Internal-External (Control), and Self Versus Relational Focus (Decision Independence). These factors were found to have good internal consistency ranging from .66 for perceived support to .87 for readiness. Total scale alpha coefficients for the CTI are .85. Test-retest coefficients for the total CTI over a 3-week period was .84. The CTI has been found to correlate positively and significantly with age, marital status, length of time in the transition process, and five global ratings of coping (i.e., perceived level of stress in the career transition process). In addition, enduring personality traits such as those measured by the NEO Personality Inventory have been found to predict career resources as measured by the CTI. For example, Openness to Experience from the NEO has been found to predict all five factors on the CTI, indicating that a willingness to try new things is an important variable in predicting how one negotiates the career transition process. The CTI has been translated into French, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean. Additional psychometric work has been conducted in some countries to determine if the factor structure is the same.


  1. Fernandez, A., Fouquereau, E., & Heppner, M. J. (in press). The Career Transitions Inventory: A psychometric evaluation of a French version (CTI-F). The Journal of Career Assessment.
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  4. Heppner, M. J., Multon, K. D., & Johnston, J. A. (1994). Assessing psychological resources during career change: Development of the Career Transitions Inventory. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 44, 55-74.