Project Management is a skill that can be taken into the "real" world
Take for example the 2014 Cape to Rio Yacht Race with 325 days to the start we have already got a defined time line. with start and finish deadlines.
Compete in the Cape to Rio 2014
What do we need? Equipment, training, resources
How, where, when, who?
Begin training schedule, recruitment of team, sourcing resources, yachts etc.
Successfully compete in event.
This is obviously a simplistic overview of the actual amount of work and planning that such a project would involve, however it goes to the core of what I am getting at.
Project Management is a skill, but it's is also a flexible and adaptable system which is completely transferable across numerous platforms and industries.
The core skills of Project Management are in the planning and managing of the sections of the project and task at hand. You need a specialized helmsman and navigator to successfully complete such a voyage, however as a project manager (team manager) you do not necessarily require those skills yourself.
A successful project manager is one who can grasp the complexities of the project and manage all the people and resources into a complete cohesive whole.
Think of it as building a giant jigsaw puzzle, clearly defined end goal with specific rules and limitations.
Inspired project managers can take his skill and transfer it from one project to the next with a continuous learning curve that adapts to the changing requirements.
Project management is a fluid and continuous evolution of skill's that allows you to adapt and roll with the punches to a successful conclusion of the project.