I am wondering if anyone could help me with a potential work conflict of interest. I am currently working for an agency which offer UX services. I have wanted to learn to code for a while and a friend told me about a free training scheme a big tech company are offering for women. This training course:
- is held in the evenings so it would not interfere with my working hours,
- does not lead to a job with the company, though participants are welcome to apply at the end if they wish
- does not include an expectation to work with the company upon completion of the course
And I made it clear in my application that I intend to stay in UX and simply want to improve my skills by learning to code, not become a full time software dev.
I love where I work currently and simply want to learn about software development as it would be very useful in my job (particularly as we have recently hired for and are growing our development department). This free course is an initiative to get more women working in technology roles, which is why there is no commitment to work for the company in question upon completion of the course.
I have a non-compete clause in my contract which says I must not work for any other competing company during my employment with them and 1 year after ending my employment. technically, the company offering the training scheme is not a competitor. They specialise in software development whereas where I work does not. My question is, does the fact that it is a company which is offering the free training course instead of an educational institution cause a problem with my non-compete or a potential conflict of interest? I know if I was paying for a course from a college or university that there would be no problem.
Also, should I bring this up with my boss and explain why I want to do the course and who is running it? I have not started it yet and so have not informed my employer.
Any help would be much appreciated! I worry that what I am doing may be unethical, but I simply want to learn. I learn better in groups rather than online, which is why this appeals to me much more than free online coding courses.