Here is a good example of economic value-- college degrees. Which college degrees have more economic value? It's the ones that have a bigger payoff in terms of higher income and easier access to work in the future. So engineering and medicine are more valuable than sociology or anthropology degrees.
Too bad high school students don't think too much about this issue when deciding which program to apply to. I know lots of people who regret their history, sociology and philosophy degrees. They may be interesting and enjoyable, but have very little economic value. High school teachers need to teach their students this instead of telling them "they can be whatever they want to be."