Astute business owner and global entrepreneur Sonya McGuire pioneered the Gold Coast’s digital and communications industry when she founded the Australian College of Information Technology 25 years ago.
With a background in IT, software programming and as one of the world’s first IBM personal computer users, Mrs McGuire moved from Darwin to the Gold Coast in her 20s and became a trainer for TAFE and Bond University before starting her own business.
For the first five years she focused on delivering the world-class courses in information technology, and in the late 1990s the Australian College of Information Technology (ACIT) partnered with tech giants Microsoft, Cisco Systems, VMware and Juniper Networks to offer a unique skill-set to international and local students.
A few years later Mrs McGuire further cemented her reputation as an industry leader by acquiring the OPTUS Vision Studios in Brisbane to provide students with a hands-on learning facility and a sister college to ACIT; the Institute of Film and Television (IFTV).
Through her internationally-recognised colleges, that deliver world-class and industry-leading courses in digital technologies and multimedia, Mrs McGuire has played a pivotal role in the growing the Gold Coast’s reputation as one of the world’s leaders in vocational training.
Such is the global reputation of Mrs McGuire’s college, students from more than 20 countries are flocking to the Gold Coast to study courses such as telecommunications network engineering and digital media technology because they are assured well-paying and prestigious jobs following their training.
“Students choose our colleges because our courses provide them with the technical skills they need to work in the most highly sought after careers in the telecommunications and media industries,” Mrs McGuire says.
“One of my biggest achievements in the 25 years since I started my businesses is that every student who graduates is either headhunted before they finish their training or is employed as soon as they graduate.