The Versatile PhD logoThe Versatile PhD is an online resource designed to help members of the graduate community who are interested in exploring non-academic career options. All graduate students, postdocs and alumni have free access to premium resources provided through CU Boulder’s subscription.


  • Read inspiring first-person stories by experienced non-academic PhDs.
  • Learn about many non-academic career options and explore them in-depth.
  • See authentic examples of resumes and cover letters from PhDs who secured their first jobs away from faculty track.
  • Become part of a thriving, supportive online community where you can participate in discussions and network with PhDs outside the academy.
  • Attend local meetups to further develop relationships to help get your post-academic career started. 
  • Take professional development courses specific for PhDs.

How to access Versatile PhD

First-time users:

  • Log in to Handshake and access the Versatile PhD article
  • Click the button: Setup Your Account
  • Register for your free premium account

Once you have been authenticated through Handshake, log in to Versatile PhD here.

Manage your career path with Options for Success

Options for Success is a six-module career exploration course that is designed to assist graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in professional development. The course covers topics from identifying viable career paths, understanding the link between their degrees and the professional world, and managing the transition process from university to finding meaningful careers. 

Before you can access the Options for Success module, you must first authenticate your CU Boulder credentials through Handshake and setup a free profile on Versatile PhD. 

How to access Options for Success (through Versatile PhD)

First-time users:

  • Log in to Handshake
  • Go to the Career Center tab (at the top of the page)
  • Click on Resources
  • Open the Versatile PhD article, click setup my account
  • Register for your premium account
  • Log into Virtual PhD, click on the tab titled Options 4 Success

Once you have been authenticated through Handshake, you may log in to Options 4 Success here.